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What Is Pitting Edema?

Monday, 19 April 2021 00:00

Pitting edema refers to a visible swelling of a specific area caused by fluid buildup in the tissues. When pressure is applied to the area, it leaves a pit in the skin. While pitting edema can occur throughout the body, the feet and ankles are often affected. Beyond swelling and pitting, this condition can also cause tingling or burning sensations, pain, stiffness, numbness, and cramps. There are many potential causes for pitting edema, including poor circulation, obesity, pregnancy, dehydration, and injuries. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the condition, but may involve elevating the feet, wearing compression socks, or taking certain medications. If you notice swelling in your feet or ankles, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Barry P. Weinstein, DPM of Bellaire Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Bellaire and Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
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