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Doctor insights on: Does Heat Reduce Swelling

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Dr. David Schleimer
1,498 Doctors shared insights

Swelling (Definition)

Swelling is the enlargement of organs, skin, or other body parts. It is caused by a buildup of fluid in the tissues. The extra fluid can lead to a rapid increase in weight over a short period of time (days to weeks). Swelling can occur all over the body (generalized) or only in one part ...Read more


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I feel like my brain is swelling in this heat?

I feel like my brain is swelling in this heat?

It isn't really: The brain is highly protected from temperature extremes. But stay outside in high heat without drinking fluids for a long time, let your core temperature reach 104-105°f (this is called heat stroke), and your brain will swell. But you'll probably be comatose or nearly so, so you won't really notice. Some mammals have evolved more heat-tolerant nervous systems, e.g. The eland and the oryx. Read more

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Calf swelling--do I apply ice or heat?

Calf swelling--do I apply ice or heat?

Depends: Ice is good on acute injuries to decrease the inflammation, like when an athlete sprains an ankle. Heat promotes blood flow to the area in order to help healing. Depending on the cause of your calf swelling will dictate which would be more helpful. Many times if both calfs are swelling it can be from decreased venous return and therefore leg elevation, and compressive stockings can help. Read more

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Can heat sensation and/or swelling in the feet be caused by diabetes?

Can heat sensation and/or swelling in the feet be caused by diabetes?

Possibly: Diabetes can cause neuropathy, which can cause many different neurologic signs such as pain, numbness, tingling, or heat/cold sensations. Swelling is less likely directly from diabetes, though diabetics often have vascular problems that can contribute to it. Read more

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Stop swelling of fingers and feet in heat?

Stop swelling of fingers and feet in heat?

Not easy: The heat will naturally cause your body to swell secondary to vasodilation of your blood vessles. This is why rings and watches will become tighter. Try and stay cool. Drink fluids. Read more

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I am experiencing ankle swelling. Apply heat or cold?

I am experiencing ankle swelling. Apply heat or cold?

Cold: At 26 y/o you should not be having swelling unless you are very overweight or wearing non-supportive shoes. If neither is the case, I would speak with your primary care doctor. Read more

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After RICE for my torn meniscus, the swelling has gone down after about 4 days. Should I now apply heat to my injury.?

After RICE for my torn meniscus, the swelling has gone down after about 4 days. Should I now apply heat to my injury.?

That gets your knee-: -guieted down, now you need careful eval by an orthopedic surgeon to decide on a plan of care. Anywhere from watching to surgery. Read more

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Swelling from hit to shin from softball-should I continue to ice or switch to heat? If switch to heat, should I use heating pad or will icy hot work?

Swelling from hit to shin from softball-should I continue to ice or switch to heat? If switch to heat, should I use heating pad or will icy hot work?

Treatment options: If your injury occured 72+ hours ago then it is acceptable to switch to heat in an effort to deal with any swelling in the area. Icyhot doesn't cause the same healing effect of ice or heat. Topicals such as this are known as counterirritants that trick pain receptors, but really do nothing more than numb the area.

If you are having severe pain, or are unable to walk on your leg please have a xray. Read more

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I have POTS. I am travelling south. I have not responded well to the heat in the past. Should my Florinef (fludrocortisone) be increased? And will it cause more swelling?

I have POTS. I am travelling south. I have not responded well to the heat in the past. Should my Florinef (fludrocortisone) be increased? And will it cause more swelling?

Not sure: Surely you're all too well aware, POTS is difficult to treat even when conditions are stable. Many triggers can set off episodes in large part dependent upon the specifics of disease (such as the relative involvement of mast cells). Increased Florinef (fludrocortisone) does not automatically increase the intravascular fluid. One could do well with careful titration of salt intake adjust fluid status as needed Read more

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My back leg laceration with heat and swelling?

My back leg laceration with heat and swelling?

Leg cut: If there is a leg laceration with heat and swelling, there may be an infection. Wash it with soap and water, cover it with a sterile bandage with an antiseptic and go to your physician ASAP. Read more

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Sprained my finger. Been icing for 72 hrs but it's still swollen. Should I switch to heat or continue icing until swelling goes down?

Sprained my finger. Been icing for 72 hrs but it's still swollen. Should I switch to heat or continue icing until swelling goes down?

Heat or cold: These are common questions asked after injury, to relieve stiffness, after surgery. As any answer there is a simple way to explain it but when dealing with a complex set of medical circumstances one answer does not always apply for all.
Simply warm up and cool down means that when you are stiff, and sore that warmth will generally help and after activity cool down

. MOST Acute injury=cold Read more

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I have reddish skin on both my breasts no heat no swelling no pain and no node swelling just the patches I am 30 with very large breasts?

I have reddish skin on both my breasts no heat no swelling no pain and no node swelling just the patches I am 30 with very large breasts?

Redish skin obreast.: If it is under your breast and the breasts are large, it could be intertrigo, a fungal infection due to moisture under the breasts. Show it to your doctor to get the cream prescribed for it. Read more