Swollen Ankles and Swollen Feet (cont.)

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What are the complications of swollen ankles and swollen feet?

Swollen feet and ankles can lead to discomfort and pain when walking or running is attempted. Chronic swelling can lead to skin color changes and skin ulcers. The skin ulcers can occasionally become infected. The skin infections can be further complicated by abscess formation, cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, and death.

Can swollen ankles and swollen feet be prevented?

In many situations, the swelling in feet and ankles can be reduced or prevented. The following is a list of ways to reduce or prevent ankle and feet swelling:

  • Exercise to improve circulation and fluid distribution
  • Eat a healthy diet; too much salt may cause fluid retention, hypertension and swelling
  • Interrupt sitting or standing several times a day and elevate the feet and ankles above the heart
  • Lose excess weight to retain less fluid and decrease pressure on muscles and joints
  • Consider using support stockings or hose
  • Examine prescription and other medications; consult with the doctor if medication may be responsible for fluid retention
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol and other substances that can lead to underlying causes of swelling

Because there are so many underlying causes of feet and ankle swelling, there are numerous ways to avoid or reduce the chances for their development. The reader is urged to follow up on this article by reading about ways to prevent underlying causes of swelling.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/10/2014