Edema can be treated by compressing, moving, massaging and elevating the affected body part, according to Mayo Clinic. It's important to protect the affected area by cleaning and moisturizing it regularly. Salt can exacerbate edema, so salt intake should be limited according to a doctor's recommendation.
Edema tends to go away on its own, states Mayo Clinic. Healing can be hastened by raising the affected limb above heart level. Elevating the affected limb while sleeping may alleviate symptoms further. Some medications cause edema, so it's important to speak to a physician about changing medications if edema occurs. A doctor may also be able to recommend exercises that can keep swelling down. Moving the muscles in the affected limb helps to pump excess fluid back to the heart.
To move excess fluid out of affected areas, a person can firmly massage the area toward the heart, notes Mayo Clinic. Wearing compression sleeves, stockings or gloves can stop fluid from collecting in the tissue. In order to prevent cuts, scrapes and infections, it's important to keep the skin from becoming dry or chapped. The affected area should be washed on a regular basis, and then moisturizer should be applied. Feet that are prone to swelling should be consistently protected.