You stepped on the scale this morning and weighed three pounds more than you did a few days ago. These are just a few of the possible signs of edema, the abnormal accumulation of fluids within the body tissues. Based on the kind of edema you have, as well as the accompanying signs and symptoms, you and your doctor can discern its underlying cause.
Edema of the lower extremities (ankles, feet, legs) is not uncommon in individuals with an underlying condition, such as congestive heart failure, and in patients without heart disease as well. Because edema has so many potential causes, its treatment depends upon the underlying cause.
Natural diuretics: A number of herbs act as diuretics, including buchu, dandelion, juniper, parsley, and uva ursi.
Women are especially susceptible to edema due to the hormonal fluctuation of their menstrual cycle. The following conditions may include edema among their symptoms, but edema by itself should not lead you to conclude that you have a more serious disorder. Excessive salt intake: accumulation of fluids in the space outside cells in response to increased sodium in the diet, usually in conjunction with an underlying condition. Gout: a condition of the joints, especially in the big toe, causing red, swollen, warm, and very painful joints.
Varicose veins: bluish-purple, knotted veins, usually in the legs, that cause itchiness or discomfort and possibly swollen feet and ankles. Lymphedema: accumulation of fluid in cancer patients related to the removal of lymph nodes.
Congestive heart failure: shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, cough, and swelling of the legs due to accumulation of fluids.
Cardiomyopathy: a disease of the heart that reduces its ability to pump fluids, resulting in shortness of breath, swelling of the extremities, fatigue, chest pain, wheezing, and cough. Heart valve disease: usually does not have symptoms, but may cause fatigue, weakness, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and swelling, depending upon the valve malfunctioning. There are several symptoms that you should know so that you will be aware if you are having this chronic skin disease. Whenever you are experiences most of these symptoms or even just some, it is best to visit a dermatologist. Aside from the mentioned information above, this skin problem will show like a rash and it will affect the abdomen, legs, back, arms, and chest.
A petechial rash is made up of small red bumps on the skin, caused by bleeding from skin capillaries. Certain illnesses like mononucleosis, meningitis, chicken pox, measles and mumps can cause petechiae in various parts of the body.
Newborn babies may develop a petechial rash as a result of movement through the birth canal. Some of the more benign causes of petechial rash include blunt injury or activities that are prone to making capillaries leak. On the other hand, there are a number of serious medical conditions that result in a petechial rash.
Given the diverse causal factors of a petechial rash, it can be important to get medical evaluation if the cause is not clearly evident. Beyond appearance of petechiae, the petechial rash usually doesn’t have that many more symptoms. Angioedema is similar to hives, but the swelling occurs beneath the skin instead of on the surface.
Athlete’s foot refers to infection of the foot by different fungi commonly called Tinea pedis. Not all fungal infections of the foot are caused by Tinea pedis, so when in doubt, doctor should give you a diagnosis and prescribe appropriate anti-fungal drug. Cutaneous larva migrans is an immature form of various parasitic intestinal worms often found in feces of cats, dogs or other animals. In tungiasis, an itchy or painful 4-10 mm sized white rash with the black center appears on the foot.
In pitted keratolysis, small shallow cavities appear in the upper layer of the soles or palms. Shiny, dry, reddish skin on the soles that may crack and cause pain or itch mostly affects children with atopic dermatitis. Palmoplantar keratoderma refers to thickening of the skin on the palms and soles that may appear in different inherited or acquired skin disorders (Picture 3). Please note that any information or feedback on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a health care professional and will not constitute a medical diagnosis.


People with varicose veins may wear compression stockings for comfort and to improve circulation.
Compression socks are a type of hosiery item that helps to compensate for inadequate blood circulation in the feet and lower legs. Socks that are formulated for use when light compression is required work very well when the legs are tired because of temporary circumstances, such as pregnancy. Compression socks in the moderate class or group are intended for use when the circulation is more seriously slowed. A firm sock is sometimes necessary when the symptoms are not alleviated by products in the lighter classes. Extra firm compression socks are used to address severe cases of edema and varicosities or when the individual is diagnosed with a form of chronic venous disease, normally grades II and III.
Products in the heavy classes are necessary in cases where there are serious circulation problems in the feet and legs. When choosing the right compression socks, it is important to speak with a medical professional about all the factors that are inhibiting proper circulation in the legs and feet. I used to get horrible edema and foot cramps when I was pregnant until some thoughtful soul gave me a pair of maternity compression socks. Those things are fantastic!
It's often a good idea to keep a set of compression socks or stockings around for when you go on flights too.
Whenever you fly, you are at risk for blood clots and deep vein thrombosis because of compromised circulation. What this translates to in everyday life is swollen feet and ankles, tired legs, and those awful long-haul flight cramps in your feet and legs.
Flight compression socks are a must for anybody who has had previous problems with circulation, and many doctors insist on their patients wearing them on long flight trips. Of course, medical compression socks are great too -- they even make thigh-high versions that can really help your circulation. But if you get stuck you can go with the athletic compression socks, as long as you don't have any underlying circulatory conditions. I would highly recommend wearing compression socks to any long-haul flight travelers -- the risk of DVT is just too serious to consider going without.
Edema is not an illness, but rather a symptom of many medical conditions, among them congestive heart failure, pregnancy, cirrhosis, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Hormones regulate the amount of interstitial fluid relative to cells in the surrounding area.
For temporary edema, such as that in women during the premenstrual phase, preventive measures may be all that is needed.
Below are some common diuretics, a class of drugs used in the treatment of high blood pressure to help clear the body of excess fluid.
Teas made from these herbs may provide temporary relief; however, they are not a long-term solution because the body eventually compensates for their diuretic action.
Lie with your feet above the level of your heart to help fluid move from the legs back to the heart. This causes water from within the cells to travel outside the cells in order to dilute the sodium concentration there.
The monthly increase in the production of estrogen causes a secondary increase in the hormone aldosterone. Fluid accumulates in the spaces between cells when the vital organs collect more fluid within the body than they are able to eliminate.
Some of these disorders have certain characteristic symptoms in addition to leg or ankle swelling, while some have no symptoms, at least in the early stages. You should not attempt to diagnose yourself with a medical condition, even if your symptoms match those characteristic of a certain disorder. Examples include the swelling that occurs during pregnancy as well as the premenstrual phase of a woman's monthly cycle.
You should be aware that whenever you delay the treatment for this skin condition, it becomes severe and symptoms are severe also. However, there are some individuals who are experiencing this and they age from 10-35 years old. The only thing is, you need to have it moderately since over doing it will result to sunburn. It generally lasts longer than hives, but the swelling usually goes away in less than 24 hours.
Skin between toes, on soles, sides or upper part of the foot is usually itchy, sore, reddened, damp, and may peel off and crack (Picture 1). People who constantly have fungal infection may need several weeks or months to cure it though.


Confined mostly to tropical and subtropical areas (central and south US, Central and South America, Australia), it can be contracted by skin contact with moist soil or sand, usually by walking barefoot.
To prevent itch and to kill parasites, anti-parasitic drugs, such as thiabendazole as ointment, or, in widespread lesions, by mouth can be used. It is caused by burrowing flea Tunga penetrans (sandflea, bug of the foot) that lives in moist soil. For example, if swelling — or edema — in the legs and feet are accompanied by pain and fatigue, socks of this type often prove helpful. Maybe you couldn't squeeze the ring off your finger, or your ankles looked puffy, or your pants were a little bit snug. Small blood vessels called capillaries supply the interstitial fluid with nutrients and oxygen. However, other underlying causes such as kidney disease, heart failure, and thyroid disorders require medical attention.
If the leg muscles weaken or you don't get adequate exercise, fluid from the blood pools in your feet and ankles.
When we eat salty foods, we usually become thirsty and drink more fluids than normal, thus worsening the problem. Aldosterone causes the kidney to retain fluids, making some women temporarily gain a few pounds each month. You may have heard of the skin problem rosacea but you are not fully aware what causes it and its symptoms.
This chronic skin problem can cause you to become blind which you definitely don’t want to happen.
Itchy rash in the form of 2-3 mm wide and several centimeters snake-like reddish tunnels, reflecting the travel of the parasite underneath the skin, usually develops on the foot, or other parts of the leg, or on the hands (Picture 2). Lesions represent irregular vessel overgrowth resulting from impaired blood supply to the foot, for example, in venous thrombosis or venous fistula. The capillaries also carry away the cells' waste products, which are floating in the interstitial fluid.
It can also happen when the amount of fluid leaving the capillaries is greater than the amount re-entering them. Read the nutritional values labels of foods carefully — you might be surprised at what you find.
Walking, cycling, dancing, and other activities involving the legs keep the leg muscles in shape to move fluid upward.
And though many edema-causing conditions are age-related, it is never too late to get in shape and improve your overall health. To understand your symptoms and reach a diagnosis, your healthcare provider will consider your medical history, what symptoms you have, and the results of a physical examination and laboratory tests.
People who constantly have wet feet due to occupation, humid environment, or wearing poorly ventilated shoes are commonly affected. Congestive heart failure and cirrhosis usually cause swelling of the ankles because fluid has a hard time traveling up the legs against the force of gravity. Treatment is aimed at reducing swelling if it causes reduced mobility, skin breakdown, infection, or discomfort. If you have edema related to kidney disease, your doctor will likely recommend a diet low in fats and proteins.
Fair skinned people would always complain about this type of skin problem and there are millions of them who are suffering from it.
Presence of petechiae can be nothing to worry about or it might represent presence of a serious condition that needs medical attention.
One can contract Tinea pedis from a public shower or gym floor or by sharing contaminated shoes. Treatment may include physical removal of the flea by the doctor, and anti-parasitic ointments, like thiabendazole. Feet should be regularly covered with ointments, like Vaseline, right after evening shower, and Dimeticone during the day. If so, seek the assistance of a nutritionist, who can help you create a balanced diet within certain guidelines.
Use alcohol in moderation, and if your edema is related to liver disease, abstain entirely.



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