Long sitting or standing, warm temperatures or uncomfortable shoes: many people occasionally suffer from swollen feet. It happens especially often on hot days. Read here what quickly helps against this and what it can be due to!

Most people know it: after a long day on their feet, their feet are often swollen in the evening. The body part is thick and feels heavy. The skin also tightens uncomfortably at the site.

The swelling, also called edema, is caused by an increased accumulation of water. The cause is an overpressure on the blood and lymphatic vessels. As a result, fluid leaks into the surrounding tissues. Due to gravity, the limbs, often the feet, are usually affected.

But what to do if the feet swell again?

Tips against swollen feet
Even with simple means, make sure that the excess water in the feet disappears as quickly as possible. We have summarized the best tips.

Putting your legs up

They often relieve the feet already when you put your legs up. Accumulated blood and fluid is thus better removed. Consequently, the feet swell.


Those who sit, stand or lie a lot promote the accumulation of water in the feet. Regular exercise stimulates the blood circulation. The liquid is thus better removed from the tissue.

In summer, those affected should move to the cooler evening hours or avoid strenuous activities such as jogging altogether. At high temperatures, the body widens the vessels, and blood circulation slows down – the risk of swollen feet is then higher. Moderate running or walking is a good way to counteract the swelling in the feet.

Swollen feet

Healthy nutrition

Prevent obesity and associated venous weakness: if the veins are weakened, they no longer transport the blood back to the heart properly. This, among other things, favors edema in the feet. Therefore, eat a healthy diet. This means: consume enough fruits, vegetables and protein.

A widespread assumption is that a diet rich in salt favors water retention. Meanwhile, however, this could be refuted. Rather, your body receives important electrolytes when absorbing salt.

Drink enough

Those who consume enough liquid boost their metabolism and prevent water retention and swollen feet. The best are between 1.5 and two liters daily. There may be more in the summer months. Water or unsweetened tea is well suited. Nettle tea also has a draining effect and additionally relieves the symptoms.

Feet and legs cool

A refreshing shower or bathing in the lake: a cold cast helps well with swollen feet. The vessels contract due to the cooler water temperatures. The stored liquid can be better removed.

The so-called water treading also helps against thick feet. To do this, you will need a bathtub or a large bucket that will reach up to your calf. Fill the tub or bucket with cold water, get into it with both legs. Now step on the spot for about two minutes. Caution: Pay attention to a non-slip surface and hold on for safety.


To re-activate the slowed blood flow in the feet, massages will help. To do this, stroke your feet with light pressure. Always massage in the direction of the heart to properly direct the blood flow. In the case of chronic swelling, regular lymphatic drainage with a physiotherapist may be useful.

Comfortable shoes

Take care of comfortable and airy shoes. In sneakers, the air quickly accumulates. Even high shoes often result in swollen feet. Airy, flat sandals prevent water retention, especially in summer.

Compression stockings

The tight stockings narrow the veins of the legs and thus prevent water retention in the feet.

Natural home remedies

Nature also has remedies that help against swollen feet. Especially foods with a draining effect prevent the unpleasant edema. These are, for example, nettle, artichoke, fennel, ginger, watermelon, garlic or cucumber.

Swollen feet: these are possible causes

Swollen feet have different reasons. In most cases, the swelling is harmless. We have summarized the most common causes for you.

Pregnancy and other hormonal changes

Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy, often lead to swollen limbs. In addition to the arms and legs, the feet are also particularly affected. The reason for this is that the body stores more fluid and transfers it from the vessels to the surrounding tissue. These edemas are usually harmless.

Warm temperatures

If there is an increase in swollen feet in the warm summer months, the cause is harmless: in order to keep its regular body temperature constant even in the heat, the body widens its blood vessels – the blood circulation is slowed down. As a result, especially the feet and hands swell slightly.

Wrong shoes

A whole day in high heels, pumps or tight sneakers can lead to water retention in the feet. Therefore, give your feet a rest.


In people with severe obesity, two factors favor swollen feet: due to the extra kilos, the backflow of blood to the heart may be impaired – the blood accumulates. In addition, the excess fat cells in the body cause more water to leak into the surrounding tissue. The lymphatic system is then overloaded and cannot remove the fluid.

Long journeys

On long journeys by car, train or plane, the possibilities of movement are often limited – we often sit for hours. This position leads to the fact that blood and lymphatic fluid accumulate. Due to gravity, this is particularly noticeable on the feet and ankles.

In healthy people, this phenomenon is less pronounced and usually disappears a short time after the trip. However, if you have a vein weakness, the swelling may be more pronounced. The risk of thrombosis, i.e. a circulatory disorder due to a blood clot, is then higher. Therefore, before long trips, consult with your doctor.


Various drugs can provoke edema as a side effect. These include, for example, antidepressants, antihypertensive drugs, cortisone or anti-inflammatories. If you suspect that your swollen feet are due to taking a pharmaceutical agent, talk to the attending physician about possible alternatives.

Injuries or inflammations

Injuries, burns or inflammations make the vessel walls more permeable. This makes it easier for water retention to occur in the surrounding tissue.

Chronic venous disease

If the venous valves are weak, they can no longer close properly. This prevents the blood from flowing back to the heart. It then accumulates particularly strongly in the legs and feet.

Other diseases

In more rare cases, swollen feet are a concomitant symptom of a disease. For example, heart failure, kidney or liver disease and hypothyroidism cause the legs and feet to swell. If your feet are “thick” again and again, you should clarify the cause with a doctor.

Thrombosis: with these symptoms, you should immediately go to the doctor

If the blood flow in the veins stops, a blood clot, also called a thrombus, can form. It prevents the blood flow or completely closes the vessel. There is a vein occlusion, a thrombosis.

Typical signs of thrombosis are:

  • Swelling of a foot and leg
  • unexplained pain in the leg
  • bluish discoloration
  • Feeling of heat on one leg
  • Pain when appearing

If you suspect a thrombosis, you should contact your doctor immediately.

1.Swollen feet: what you can do about it!

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This is a common cause of swollen feet. Phlebitis. This painful inflammation of the veins can cause swollen feet and also leg pain. Deep-vein thrombosis. In this condition, blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs. The clots block the return of blood from the legs to the heart, causing swelling of the legs and feet.

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You have unexplained, painful swelling of your feet or legs, particularly if it’s only in one leg. The swollen area becomes warm, red or inflamed. The swelling is accompanied by a fever. Also seek immediate medical care if you’re pregnant and develop: Sudden foot swelling. A noticeable change in foot swelling. Swelling in only one foot or leg.

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