Having swollen Limbs is often both annoying and uncomfortable. No one wants to feel like their rings are cutting off their circulation. Swelling, also known as edema and can happen anywhere in the body.  It’s commonly seen in the hands, arms, feet, ankles, and legs.

What causes the swelling? When you’re suddenly exposed to unusually hot temperatures, your body may struggle to cool itself down. Normally, your body pushes warm blood toward the surface of your skin, where it cools down by sweating. On hot and humid days, this process may not work properly. Instead, fluid might accumulate in your hands instead of evaporating through sweat.

This swelling, however natural, can be very uncomfortable or even painful.  It may take your body a few days to acclimate to hot weather. Once it does, your swelling should go away.

If it doesn't go down on it's own when you're somewhere cooler, the swelling may be caused by other things, and you should seek help. But in summer, swollen fingers and ankles are an unfortunate, but pretty normal, side effect of enjoying sunny days.

Read the following article to learn how to prevent swollen feet, legs and hands, (Edema) in hot weather as well as some easy remedies to reduce swelling should it occur.

Prevent Swollen feet legs and hands


1. Stay as cool as possible during warm weather months.
Find shade when outside and don't sit in the direct sunlight when possible. Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting and breathable clothing.

2. Exercise or stay active
It doesn't have to be rigorous or intense exercise. Walking is one of the best options available, as it generally gets your blood flowing without overheating you.  Swelling due to hot weather is directly related to blood flow. The more you exercise, the more you encourage your blood to flow quickly. This should prevent swelling in hot weather.

3. Avoid salty foods when you know you'll be exposed to hot weather as salt intake can cause or exacerbate swelling.

4. Follow a healthy dietary routine.
Drinking plenty of water, reducing your salt intake and incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables into daily eating habits can reduce the chances of swollen limbs in hot weather.

5. Elevate the swollen limbs. Legs are most commonly affected, but arms, hands and upper extremities can also become swollen.

6. Lie down and raise the affected limbs on pillows. Avoid bending at the knees, elbow or stomach, as this will inhibit blood flow.

7. Wear elastic bandages, support stockings or other forms of support garments. These will prevent fluid from pooling in the extremities and generally can stop swelling in hot weather.

8. Wear the support garments when you expect to experience swelling. This includes hot weather and airplane travel.

9. Massage the arms, legs, hands or feet.

10. Massage will encourage movement of fluid out of the swollen tissue and throughout the rest of the body.11 Have somebody else do the massage. This allows you to continue lying down, which will not inhibit blood flow.

12. Identify and treat any underlying causes of swelling in addition to heat. This could include obesity, drug or alcohol addiction or varicose veins.

There are many other natural ways that you can ease swelling when it has occurred including applying ice packs to your swollen area, cooling foot soaks with Epsom salts and wrapping your feet and ankles in damp towels.

For Hands

Stretch out your fingers and then ball them into fists, repeat this motion a few times, this will help with circulation.

Elevate the hands, rather than have them dangling by your sides. Again, this will help circulation and blood flow, and keep hands elevated at night, maybe on a pillow, could help.

Icing your hands: this will help the blood vessels shrink back down, and in so doing, they will stop leaking fluid into the fingers.

Massaging your fingers and dunking them in cold water will also help.

Natural Remedies 

Put a teabag on your fingers and dunk them in water mixed with epsom salts, which are known to generally help with inflammation.

Magnesium is an important mineral for blood circulation so it’s no surprise that a deficiency in the amount of magnesium in the body can often lead to swelling. A dose of 200mg taken twice a day can make a difference.

Vinegar This will help reduce the pain and the swelling. heat some vinegar in a pot of water and soak a towel in the pot , remove the towel and apply it to the swollen area, repeat for 5 times or 5 minutes

Mustard Oil  Massage your hands and feet with mustard oil, this helps increase blood circulation, apply slight pressure to the swollen areas.


There are a lot of posts lately about swollen hands and feet ie water retention and a lot of people recommending the use of Furosemide.

Please be very very careful taking this drug, it is used to make you wee more often and you will be loosing a lot of sodium and potassium which in this heat is not good for you and can make you feel worse. Fluid retention is the bodies way of protecting itself so you could be doing more harm than good.

Furosemide will actually lower your blood pressure too so never take it if you have problems with your blood pressure and never take it if you are on any other medication without seeing your GP first. If you do take it make sure you drink lots and lots of water to compensate or you could end up in hospital with a kidney infection, heat stroke or de-hydration.

Furosemide tablets may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.

The best way to deal with water retention is to drink more water (strange I know), also drink things like Cranberry Juice and aqua-tonic drinks etc which will help keep the sodium levels correct in your body.


Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; calf or leg pain, swelling, redness, or tenderness; chest pain; coughing up blood; fainting; fever, chills, or sore throat; numbness, burning, or tingling sensation; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears or other hearing problems (eg, hearing loss); severe or persistent dizziness; severe stomach or back pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); shortness of breath; symptoms of fluid or electrolyte problems (eg, confusion; dry mouth or eyes; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes; muscle aches, cramps, pain, spasms, or weakness; not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed; seizures; severe dizziness; severe or persistent loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting; unusual tiredness or weakness); symptoms of high blood sugar (eg, increased thirst, hunger, or urination; confusion; drowsiness); symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, severe stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes); unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual tiredness or weakness; vein inflammation; yellow vision.

x Please take care of yourselves in the high temperatures read our sun safety page x

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What are your top tips to prevent swollen legs, feet and hands, comment below.

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