A soft tissue edema is a condition in which the soft tissues in the body swell due to inflammation or injury, explains WebMD. Edema occurs when small blood vessels leak fluid into soft tissues, causing the fluid to accumulate and result in swelling of the body.
Medical illnesses, pregnancy, infections or medications may cause edema, according to WebMD. Injuries such as a twisted ankle, skin infection or bee sting often result in edema near the affected area of the body. Infections in the body can cause white blood cells to enter the affected area due to increased fluid in the blood vessels. As a result, certain limbs or parts of the body experience swelling.
Edema may also result due from medical conditions such as allergic reactions, burns, critical illnesses and low albumin, explains WebMD. An obstruction in the flow of fluid in the body, such as a blood clot or a tumor that blocks blood flow can also cause edema in the soft tissues. People with heart disease or congestive heart failure may experience soft tissue edema as the weakened heart pumps less blood, which causes fluid to build up in the body, more commonly in the legs, lungs or abdomen.