Edema is a risk factor for venous and diabetes-related foot ulcers among patients with diabetes, as well as being implicated in reducing healing for existing diabetes-related foot ulcers.

Peripheral edema is swelling from the collection of fluid in the feet, ankles, and legs. It can occur in one or both of your lower extremities. If you have diabetes, you need to take extra precautions when you have edema.

Edema is the result of damage to capillaries or increased pressure causing capillaries to leak fluid into surrounding tissues and result in swelling. People with diabetes often have circulation problems that can cause wounds to heal slowly or not at all. Edema makes it more difficult for wounds to heal. Therefore, controlling it is essential.

Signs and symptoms of edema

  • Stretched skin or shiny skin.
  • Swelling or puffiness.

Edema can be pitting or non-pitting, indicating different causes.

If you experience edema, let your doctor know in order to rule out serious complications. Here are some things you can do to help manage foot and leg edema:

  • Elevate the affected leg or foot throughout the day
  • Wear compression stockings (consult your physician to ensure you don’t have arterial disease)
  • Exercise regularly
  • Adhere to a low-sodium diet
  • If you have a wound, cellulitis, dermatitis, scaling, or itching makes sure these are addressed in your care plan

Call your doctor as soon as possible if swelling does not improve or worsens; if you have liver disease and experience swelling in your legs or abdomen; if your swollen extremity is red or warm; if you have a fever; if you notice decreased urine output; or if you are pregnant and have sudden moderate to severe swelling.

Compression therapy for diabetic edema and ulcer recurrence prevention

Edema Is a risk factor for Venous and Diabetic Foot Ulcers. It has been proven that the use of mild compression socks can safely reduce lower-limb edema in patients with diabetes, a new double-blind randomized controlled trial has shown. In addition, skin-perfusion pressure significantly increased in the group treated with the compression socks, meaning that microvascular circulation may have improved with mild compression.

Ask your physician if SensiFootTM Diabetic Stockings are right for you.


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American Diabetes Association 2015 Scientific Sessions; June 6, 2015: Boston, Massachusetts. Abstract 142-OR
Bowering MD FRCP, Keith C. “Use of Layered Compression Bandages in Diabetic Patients: Experience in Patients With Lower Leg Ulceration, Peripheral Edema, and Features of the Venous and Arterial Disease.” Advances in Skin and Wound Care May/June 1998 11:129-135