Swollen Legs - Treatments

Authored by Dr Mary Harding, 04 Jul 2017

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Reviewed by:
Dr Laurence Knott, 04 Jul 2017

What is the treatment for swollen legs?

Treatment will be different depending on the cause. If the cause is fluid in the legs (oedema), this can often be relieved in the short term by taking tablets called 'water tablets' (diuretics). Diuretics increase the amount of fluid that the kidney filters off to be passed in your wee (urine). So when you take diuretics you eventually pee away some of the fluid which was collecting round your legs.

However, diuretics are not used for many causes of swollen legs. A few examples of some treatments of some common causes are as follows.

Are there any complications?

Again this totally depends on the cause. The most common complication in swollen tissue is infection. Where the skin is stretched, it is more prone to be dry. If it is dry, it is more prone to breaks in the skin allowing germs from the outside of the skin underneath. This can result in cellulitis of the legs. If this is the case a large area of the skin of the legs becomes hot and red. It may cause a high temperature (fever).

Further reading and references

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