Swollen feet and ankles can be an uncomfortable condition to deal with anytime, and extreme temperatures often make the problem worse.
We received this question from a viewer:
Dear Dr. Manny,
My feet always swell in the summer. What can I do to bring down the swelling?
Swelling is the result of fluid buildup in body tissue that is often a normal response to inflammation or injury. The condition, called edema, is most commonly seen in the hands, feet, legs, and ankles.
Some common causes include:
- Allergic reactions
- Fluid obstruction
- Underlying medical conditions
There are things you can do to help relieve swelling like cutting back on your salt intake because sodium contributes to fluid retention.
You can also try wearing compression stockings to promote circulation and restrict the downward movement of fluids. You should also avoid extreme temperatures or sitting for long periods of time.
Elevating your feet can also help bring down swelling. Put them 12 inches above your heart three to four times a day for 30 minutes at a time until you see some improvement.
You can also massage the swollen part of your body to help move trapped fluid out of the area, and exercise regularly; losing excess weight will help improve your circulation and get things moving.
Talk to your doctor if you continue to experience these symptoms as it may be a sign of a more serious condition.