The legs can swell for various reasons including extended periods of standing, insect bites and stings as well as injuries. Once leg swelling occurs, it must be treated as soon as possible in order to prevent the inflammation from worsening. There are several measures that you can perform that you can learn from a first aid course. On the other hand, it is still best to consult a doctor if the swelling is caused by an insect sting or injury.
Using elevation and compression
A basic first aid measure to reduce leg swelling is to elevate the legs. Assist the individual in finding a comfortable spot to sit. With cushions or pillows, prop them up so that the legs can rest on them. Just make sure that the feet are above the level of the heart. You can also apply an ice pack or cold compress on the legs in order to minimize the swelling. As for compression, it can also help by wrapping the legs using bandages while elevating and icing them.
In some cases, there might be a sprained muscle in the leg that caused the swelling. If this is the case, you have to utilize a different kind of compress. Combine vinegar and hot water. Using a different bowl, combine ice and vinegar. Soak one towel in one bowel and another one in the other. Apply these towels on the legs alternately until the swelling subsides.
If the leg swelling is due to long hours of standing, you can reduce the swelling by instructing the individual to move in place. Since the blood has pooled in a single stationary position for an extended period, the swelling will eventually start. Understandably, by walking in place, the muscles will start working again. The individual can also engage in light exercises in order to stretch the legs as well as help minimize the swelling.
Take note that if an individual exercises strenuously and abruptly stopped, it can cause swelling. It is important to have a cooling down period after any exercise routine.
Remedies for bug bites
If the leg swelling is caused by an insect sting or bite, there are several treatment options. You can reduce the swelling and the itchiness by instructing the individual to take an oatmeal bath and soak the legs. The affected leg must be washed with warm water and soap and then apply a paste that you can easily prepare at home.
You can create one by combining water and baking soda or a combination of water and cornstarch. For mosquito bites, you can mix water and salt but make sure that the skin is not broken since salt can cause pain once it enters an open wound.
Changes in diet and wardrobe
One way to prevent swelling is to limit the intake of sodium. It is a known fact that excessive amounts of sodium can lead to swelling. As for the clothing, make sure that the individual will not wear constrictive clothing since it can disrupt with the circulation and can cause swelling. Additionally, comfortable shoes must be used if the individual is required to stand for prolonged periods.