Health Information and Tools >  Heat Edema (Swelling)
Facebook Tweet Email Share

Main Content

Heat Edema (Swelling)

It is not uncommon for the feet or hands to become swollen when a person sits or stands for a long time in a hot environment. This swelling is called heat edema.

Heat causes the blood vessels to expand (dilate), so body fluid moves into the hands or legs by gravity.

The balance of salt in the body is also a risk factor for heat edema. If salt loss is less than normal, the increased salt level draws fluid into the hands and legs.

Older adults have an increased risk of heat edema, especially if they have other medical conditions that affect their circulation.

People visiting hot climates from colder climates may also have an increased risk of heat edema.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.