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Swollen ankles, feet and legs (oedema)

Swelling in the ankles, feet and legs is often caused by a build-up of fluid, called oedema.

The main sign of oedema is swelling in your ankles, feet or legs.

To help the swelling go down, lie down and use pillows to raise the swollen area, wear comfortable shoes and do some gentle exercise like walking.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main sign of oedema is swelling in your ankles, feet or legs.

Check if you have oedema

Symptoms of oedema include:

Swollen ankles and feet.Swollen or puffy ankles, feet or legs.

Shiny and stretched skin.Shiny, stretched or red skin.

Read more on the NHS website.

To help the swelling go down, lie down and use pillows to raise the swollen area, wear comfortable shoes and do some gentle exercise like walking.

Self-care

Swelling should go away on its own, but there are some things you can try to help.


Do

  • lie down and use pillows to raise the swollen area when you can
  • get some gentle exercise, like walking, to improve your blood flow
  • wear wide, comfortable shoes with a low heel and soft sole
  • wash, dry and moisturise your feet to avoid infections

Don't

  • do not stand or sit for long periods of time
  • do not wear clothes, socks or shoes that are too tight

Medical treatments

Treatment for swelling or oedema that does not go away on its own will depend on the cause.

It may include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or going on a low-salt diet.

Read more on the NHS website.