Pitting Edema: What is it Symptoms and Causes (How to Treatment, Scale, Grading, Diagnosis)

Have you ever had swelling in your legs and noticed a curve in your fingers after pressing it? If so, the swelling in the legs is referred to as edema, whereas when the indentation remains after the swollen skin is pressed, this is called pitting edema. Learn more about Pitting Edema: What is its Symptoms and Causes (How to Treatment, Scale, Grading, Diagnosis)

Swelling of the legs that leads to pitting edema can be done with a variety of treatments. It is based on a scaled assessment of pitting edema before performing at a later stage.


What is pitting edema?

Edema is swelling of the body caused by excess fluid. It often affects the lower body, such as the feet, ankles, and can also occur in any part of the body.

If you press on a swollen area until it raises an indentation or hole and it remains, it is called pitting edema. If the swelling comes from the fluid and not due to other factors, then most of the edema will deflate by itself.

Pitting edema is caused by local problems with veins in the affected area, or systemic problems with heart, kidney, or liver function. Non-pitting edema is caused by problems with the thyroid or lymphatic system.

If you have edema, excess fluid is trapped in some tissues of the body and does not get carried away properly.


What are the symptoms?

Sometime because of edema will normally produce the skin feel tight, too thick, or tender.

Symptoms may include:

  • Tingling or burning sensation around the swelling
  • Pain and pain in swollen areas
  • Skin that feels swollen or stiff
  • Warm or hot skin to the touch
  • Numb
  • Bloating
  • Cramp
  • Unexplained cough
  • Daily fatigue or decreased energy
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or swelling in only one particular limb, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.


What causes pitting edema?

Generally, cases of pitting edema are dependent or peripheral. Dependent edema occurs as a result of gravity pulling blood down can cause swelling of tissues. Peripheral edema occurs as a result of fluid retention in peripheral tissues, such as hands, and feet.

Pitting edema has different causes. This may be the result of local problems with blood vessels, side effects of certain medications, or signs of other underlying conditions.


Common factors

Pitting edema is generally caused by poor circulation or excessive fluid retention. Some common risk factors that can cause this problem are sitting or standing in one position for too long, low protein levels, obesity, and pregnancy.



Certain types of drugs may increase the risk of pitting edema. Including:

  • Steroids
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs )
  • Drugs that supplement estrogen
  • High blood medication
  • Thiazolidinediones, which is a medication used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.


Venous insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a condition of blood vessels in the legs weakening or not functioning properly. As a result, the vein is unable to return blood to the heart efficiently, so fluid is forced out of the vein and into surrounding tissues.

This can lead to a build-up of blood and fluid in the legs, resulting in peripheral edema. Varicose veins, or enlarged and twisted veins, are common risk factors for venous insufficiency.


Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when blood clots form in veins deep in the body, usually on the legs. Blood clots can damage veins and disrupt blood flow, which causes peripheral edema in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis can also cause venous insufficiency.

Congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood throughout the body as it should. As a result, blood accumulates in the lower limbs and causes peripheral edema.

In some cases, congestive heart failure is one of the causes of fluid buildup in the lungs, as the first step in the occurrence of pulmonary edema. Discover Pulmonary Edema: Symptoms, Type, Reasons and How To Remedy. In addition, congestive heart failure can also cause abdominal edema, known as ascites.



Cirrhosis is a liver disease characterized by permanent scarring and fibrosis of the liver, which can receive blood from the spleen and gastrointestinal organs through the portal vein. When fibrosis becomes widespread, the liver begins to fail, and blood coming from the portal vein can flow back, this can cause portal hypertension, which refers to an increase in blood pressure in the portal vein.

As a result, the fluid begins to leak and exits the portal vein, and then enters the stomach, causing ascites. This fluid can accumulate on the legs, resulting in peripheral edema. High blood pressure in the portal vein can also cause varicose veins or enlargement of veins in the esophagus or abdomen.


Kidney disease

Kidney disease causes a build-up of fluid and sodium in the body. This can cause fluid retention so that it becomes peripheral edema in the legs.

The following are other factors that cause pitting edema:

  • Flight
  • Poor circulation
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Dehydration
  • Low protein content
  • Trauma or injury

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