Swelling Related to Health Problems
It is normal to have some swelling after an injury. But if a large area of swelling occurs within 30 minutes of an injury, the swelling may be a sign of:
- A more serious injury.
- Serious bleeding.
- Tissue damage.
Swelling (edema) in the feet and ankles is common after you have been sitting or standing for a length of time. It is also common during hot or humid weather. Sitting or lying down with your feet propped up often relieves this type of swelling.
- Mild generalized swelling of the feet and ankles is common in people who have varicose veins . For more information, see the topic Varicose Veins in Related Information.
- Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling are common in people who have arthritis .
- Sudden swelling of the big toe joint may be caused by gout .
Swelling is more serious when:
- Swollen skins turns pale or cool. This may mean the blood supply has been decreased to the swollen area or below it.
- Swelling develops with signs of infection .
- Swelling does not get better when you prop your feet up.
- Swelling develops suddenly or gets worse in the feet or ankles of people who have heart disease , heart failure , liver disease, or kidney disease. Kidney, heart, or circulatory problems may cause ongoing swelling of one or both feet.
- Feet, hands, or face swell suddenly during pregnancy. This can be a sign of preeclampsia . For more information, see the topic Preeclampsia and High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy in Related Information.
Treatment will depend on the cause of your swelling.
Current as of: March 20, 2017
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine