is swelling of the legs dangerous
Persisting indentation of a swollen leg after pressure from a finger is known as pitting edema. “I’ll start with asking a lot of questions about their medical history,” says Dr. Bartholomew. Is there a change over the course of the day and improvement overnight? If you bruise your leg and the bruise becomes swollen and painful, you could have a hematoma. Common medications linked to leg swelling include some blood pressure and pain medicine. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. The pressure in your veins, which bring it back to the heart, is much lower. Swelling in the legs and ankles is caused by fluid accumulation in the body, which can be a sign of worsening heart failure. Do you sleep in bed? Are you overweight? f you notice swelling in your feet or legs, you should definitely tell your primary care doctor. In severe cases, a pacemaker can help your heart pump more efficiently. When talking to your doctor, make sure to mention if you noticed what makes the swelling better or worse. One of the most common causes of oedema in older people who spend long periods sitting is common-or-garden gravity. Swelling, or edema, can be caused by many things and it’s important to try to understand what is causing it. Coronavirus: what are asymptomatic and mild COVID-19? Swelling, or edema, can be caused by many things and it’s important to try to understand what is causing it. Try our Symptom Checker Got any other symptoms? Surgery on one leg (including hip or knee replacement), infection, burns or insect bites can also affect just one side. from the best health experts in the business. Edema most commonly occurs in the lower legs or hands, abdomen, and chest. Swelling in the ankles, feet or legs often goes away on its own. “If people see any redness, blistering or swelling in the legs, especially if it is getting worse, they definitely need to see their doctor,” says vascular medicine specialist John Bartholomew, MD. Leg pain along with calf swelling for no reason at all is a serious type of pain that you should never ignore.Other reasons for sore leg muscles for no apparent reason include a pulled hamstring or calf muscle, sciatica, varicose veins, or fibromyalgia.. Aching pain when bending your foot. “Often, using counter pressure, or wearing compression stockings, to help push fluid out of the legs is the most effective treatment,” says Dr. Bartholomew. Common causes of leg swelling include salt retention, cellulitis, congestive heart failure, venous insufficiency, pregnancy, and medication side effects. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. The affected skin appears swollen and red and is typically painful and warm to the touch.Cellulitis usually affects the skin on the lower legs, but it can occur in the face, arms and other areas. The most common complication in swollen tissue is infection. Special devices known as donners are available and can help them overcome this problem. How to treat constipation and hard-to-pass stools. A clot on the leg (called a DVT or deep vein thrombosis) can lead to pain, redness, tenderness and swelling of one calf. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. However, fluid retention from gravity isn’t the only cause of a swollen ankle or leg. During your first visit, your doctor will go into a bit of a detective mode to determine what might be the cause. How far up the leg does it extend? Is it safe to delay your period for your holiday? © Patient Platform Limited. That is a lot. The fluid build-up is due to reduced blood flow out of the heart, causing blood returning to the heart through the veins to back up. Cold cuts? All rights reserved. Some people walk with a limp due to obesity or arthritis, for example, so their calf muscle is not able to push up fluid when they walk. These patients may be sent to physical therapy to help build up muscle strength and help with their walking. Injury to the foot or ankle. It can also lead to shortness of breath when you exercise or lie flat. All Rights Reserved. Hot dogs? Very rarely, a tumour can block the veins on one side. A clot on the leg (called a DVT or deep vein thrombosis) can lead to pain, redness, tenderness and swelling of one calf. Although edema can affect any part of your body, you may notice it more in your hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs.Edema can be the result of medication, pregnancy or an underlying disease — often congestive heart failure, kidney disease or cirrhosis of the liver.Taking medication to remove excess fluid and reducing the amount of salt in your food often relieves edema. The swelling can occur on both sides of the body or on just one side. There are several ways to treat leg swelling. If you sit still for long periods with your legs down, you don't move your calf muscles, which act as pumps to take blood back to the heart against gravity. If you have any unexplained oedema it should always be checked out promptly by a doctor. Wearing compression stockings can help with this. you can try these home remedies to reduce the swelling: * cut back on salty foods * wear compression stockings * get exercise every day * on long car rides, switch positions and stop for … The bottom line Varicose veins are dark, bulging veins that tend to appear on the legs. Upgrade to Patient Pro Medical Professional? Swelling in one leg, sometimes accompanied by skin that is red or warm to the touch. It also tends to affect a specific part of your body - such as one arm after surgery for breast cancer on that side. Swollen calf can be caused by three categories of conditions - natural, traumatic, and systemic issues. “Many people gain weight as soon as they start using a scooter,” says Dr. Bartholomew. If you have 'pitting oedema', you'll leave behind a little dent in the surface of your leg if you press firmly with your finger. This sort of 'generalised oedema' can also cause puffiness around your eyes after you've been lying flat. they include: * hormones such as estrogen (found in oral contraceptives and … “I also might ask if you had recent surgery or hospitalization and if you traveled or if you suffered any injuries,” says Dr. Bartholomew. A lot of people develop trouble walking as they age and will only take a few steps from room to room. This can lead to fluid accumulating. , for example, so their calf muscle is not able to push up fluid when they walk. Pain or tenderness in the leg. lymphedema is a collection of lymphatic fluid in the tissues that can develop because of the absence of or problems with the lymph vessels or after … Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body's tissues. In more troublesome cases, your doctor may recommend surgery if you have varicose veins, which should solve the problem. It occurs when a crack or break in your skin allows bacteria to enter.Left untreated, the infection can spread to your lymph nodes and bloodstream and rapidly become life-threatening. For about a week I have had a sort of ache mainly around my perineum area. 2. Is the swelling painful?”. Are the new COVID-19 swab tests accurate? Some people sleep in a recliner but that means they are not really elevating their legs at night, which reduces swelling. A bleed into the leg can be dangerous or small. If you have oedema of just one leg, the cause is probably different from oedema which affects both your lower legs. Leg swelling isn't always a sign of a heart or circulation problem. Do Face Mask Brackets Work — And Are They Safe. Some medications can cause swelling, especially if the swelling affects both legs. Registered number: 10004395 Registered office: Fulford Grange, Micklefield Lane, Rawdon, Leeds, LS19 6BA. In non-pitting oedema, fairly obviously, you don't. Your specialist team will be able to advise on lymphatic drainage massage or fitted compression garments. That is all loaded with salt. Some people walk with a limp due to obesity or. many drugs can cause swelling in the feet and ankles as a possible side effect. can make swelling worse, and it can make you more likely to be sedentary, perhaps even ride a scooter in public. Other causes of swelling in one foot include skin infections like cellulitis, or ankle arthritis which can also be the cause of one swollen ankle. Swollen ankles? The circulatory system carries blood through the body.Edema is most common in the feet and legs. Cellulitis (sel-u-LIE-tis) is a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection. Your doctor will examine your legs and ask what time of day the swelling is worse, what seems to trigger it and what helps relieve it. Your doctor has a tricky to spell word that means the same thing. Always difficult based on a description but here goes. Cleveland Clinic © 1995-2020. Leg swelling is very common, especially as people get older. Teasing out the difference is important because they have different causes. This causes high blood pressure in the veins going into the liver (called portal hypertension), potentially leading to swelling in both the legs and … This is often seen first in the legs if you're an adult, or in the face first in children. Our clinical information is certified to meet NHS England's Information Standard.Read more. Where the skin is stretched, it is more prone to be dry. This can result in cellulitis of the legs. Sometimes it feels like its in my testicles , other times in bottom.... Assess your symptoms online with our free symptom checker. Swelling, or. This is also known as manual lymph drainage. Salt intake: You may not add salt to your food, but do you know many foods are very high in salt? Policy. As well as 'water tablets' to reduce excess fluid, you'll be given tablets to reduce the pressure on your heart. Where is the location of the swelling? The thigh can contain as much as two liters of blood. There are many reasons for oedema that shouldn't cause concern - although oedema should always be checked out by a doctor to make sure there's no underlying problem. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Could this be from a medication? Hamburger Helper or Rice-A-Roni? This means they are not using their calf muscle, which helps pump fluid out of the legs. In some kinds of kidney problem, as well as in malnutrition, you'll get swelling of your hands and face, which is worse when you wake up. If you notice swelling in your feet or legs, you should definitely tell your primary care doctor. Keeping active and keeping your weight to healthy levels will both help. Summary: COVID-19 is associated with life-threatening blood clots in the arteries of the legs, according to a new study. Swelling, or edema, can be caused by many things and it’s … Leg swelling, or edema, is a common manifestation among the elderly, and in most instances, such swellings are harmless. One of the first symptoms of DVT or thrombophlebitis is one swollen leg (especially the calf), as blood pools in the area. : If you are a younger woman, does the swelling happen at certain times in your monthly cycle? Leg swelling is not an uncommon occurrence in life, particularly in adults. Most of us who've ever had children remember the misery of aching, swollen ankles towards the end of pregnancy. Fluid retention at certain times of your menstrual cycle can also make your ankles feel swollen, usually just before your period. Your doctor will arrange a blood test and possibly a scan of your heart. What about ketchup? Here are some factors your doctor may consider. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Activity levels: Do you spend the entire day sitting at a computer or watching TV with your legs down? Obesity can make swelling worse, and it can make you more likely to be sedentary, perhaps even ride a scooter in public. 'Oedema' is the medical word for any swelling caused by excess fluid under the skin. Reducing the dose can solve the problem - speak to your GP. Lymphoedema is swelling caused by blockage in the network of lymph channels and lymph nodes throughout your body (the swollen glands in your neck you can feel when you have tonsillitis are lymph nodes). We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Medication changes: Some medications can cause swelling, especially if the swelling affects both legs. Cold cuts? According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “cellulitis is an infection of the skin and … Lymphoedema does cause pitting oedema, but the skin doesn't 'give' when you press in the same way as it does in, say, heart failure. It can be caused by a problem with the venous circulation system, the lymphatic system or the kidneys. If you have this kind of 'dependent oedema', just moving around more, keeping your legs up and clenching your calf muscles regularly when you're sitting will often help. Do you eat many things out of a can? If it is dry, it is more prone to breaks in the skin, allowing germs from the outside of the skin underneath. When edema occurs in the abdomen, doctors call it ascites. Do you sleep in bed? Some people sleep in a recliner but that means they are not really elevating their legs at night, which reduces swelling. Being very overweight and having varicose veins can lead to a similar kind of swelling. Heart failure, which means the heart can't function well enough to meet the body's needs, is certainly on the list of serious causes. Enlarged veins near the skin’s surface. One or more areas in the lower body may be affected. A Bleed into the Leg. : How long do you sleep at night? Sudden swelling of your lips and tongue could be an allergic condition called angio-oedema - see a doctor urgently if this occurs. Some people with mild swelling might decide to not treat it. For details see our conditions. But oedema can also be a sign of a potentially dangerous condition of pregnancy called pre-eclampsia, where you also have raised blood pressure and protein in your urine. Does walking leave you short of breath? Does it affect the foot and toes or does it start at the ankle? COVID-19: how to treat coronavirus at home. Do you eat many things out of a can? to your food, but do you know many foods are very high in salt? Read below for more causes, related symptoms, and treatment options for a swollen foot. Is the swelling in one leg or both? You have unexplained, painful swelling of your feet or legs, particularly if it's only in one leg The swollen area becomes warm, red or inflamed The swelling is accompanied by a fever Also seek immediate medical care if you're pregnant and develop: It can also occur in the hands, arms, face, and abdomen. While it usually occurs on the legs, it can affect any area of skin on your body. For evaluation of their swelling treatment particularly if the swelling happen at certain times your... Are tighter than normal if swelling in this area is increasing swelling develops soon starting. My perineum area of breath when you exercise or lie flat for most people the outlook good. Medications linked to leg swelling include some blood pressure lowering medicine, can be a of! Nhs flu jab today infection, burns or insect bites can also your... 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