Edema is fluid-build up in the body. It can happen almost anywhere, but it’s most common in the feet and ankles.
Edema isn’t a disease. Rather, it can be a symptom of a recent injury, a side effect of a medication, or a sign of an underlying illness.
Women are more likely to experience edema as a result of wearing uncomfortable shoes and sitting for prolonged periods. Estrogen, which is often found in birth control pills, can also increase your risk for edema, as can pregnancy.
Other common causes of edema include skin injuries, blood pressure medications, diabetes medications, steroids, and anti-inflammatories. Although edema isn’t dangerous in its early stages, if you leave it untreated, it can increase your risk for infections, skin ulcers, and blood clots.
Below, we asked Dr. Michael V. Tran, our expert at All Care Foot & Ankle Center, located in Dallas and Arlington, Texas, to outline the telltale foot signs of edema in women.
Swollen feet and ankles are the surest sign of fluid build-up. You can check if fluid is causing the swelling by gently putting pressure on your swollen foot with your finger. If you notice a dimple or a pit in the skin after releasing the pressure, you may be experiencing edema.
Edema can also make your skin look shiny, much like if you had just applied lotion to the area. The rapid fluid-build up also causes skin stretching.
If your motion is limited, or your feet are heavy and you have trouble lifting them when putting on your socks or shoes, you may be experiencing edema.
If you had a recent injury, the fluid build-up can also cause pain and tightness in your foot. Even in the absence of an injury, you may experience pain in your foot due to the swelling.
Seek medical help if the swelling doesn’t resolve within a couple of days or if your feet become painful.
If you also notice a high fever or have diabetes, you should seek emergency help. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to swelling in your feet. The sooner you make an appointment, the faster our team can treat the source of your edema.
Dr. Tran has extensive experience treating foot-related health problems and will be more than happy to examine your feet. Contact us to schedule an appointment to get quick relief and expert advice on edema.