Feet Swelling In The Summer Is Normal, But You Don't Have To Live With It

Summer brings with it a lot of amazing things: days at the beach, balmy nights sipping margaritas with friends, and some exciting summer fashion trends that will make you feel like every street you turn down is a runway. But one of the things that's not so great about summer? Swollen feet.

The phenomenon known as heat edema occurs when a hot environment causes the blood vessels to dilate, per My FootDr. When this happens, fluid tends to accumulate in the body and leak down to the legs and feet (thanks, gravity). The result is feet and ankles that seem a lot larger and puffier than they should be. Though the heat itself is an instigator, people are more likely to experience swelling if they are inactive for long periods of time, eat salt-rich diets, or have venous or circulatory issues.

Feet swelling is common and does not necessarily indicate a serious problem (although some medical conditions can lead to increased swelling, which is why it's important to visit a doctor if you have concerns). But there are a few remedies you can try at home to stop your feet from swelling so much. Take the time to cool your feet, add some supplements, and monitor your diet and water intake, and you'll be back to rocking that dainty summer footwear in no time.

Cool your feet with water

The hot environment that typically comes with summer causes your feet to swell due to the dilated blood vessels. Therefore, one of the best ways to alleviate the swelling is by cooling your feet with water.

Bellevue Foot Doctor recommends using a cooling foot spray which is specifically formulated to reduce swelling. Often, these products are made with pregnant women in mind; a great example is the Promise Leg Ease Cooling Spray. They usually contain ingredients that help with inflammation and swelling, including peppermint and ginger.

If you don't want to get a cooling spray specifically for your feet, you can simply use cold water. Try blasting your feet with cold water at the end of a shower, or filling a bucket with cold water and giving yourself a foot bath.

That said, inactivity can worsen swelling in your feet and legs, so avoid sitting with your feet in the foot bath for extended periods of time. While intense exercise may contribute to swelling, light exercise, including beginner's yoga or walking, may help to drain the excess fluid.

Cold water is an effective remedy for swollen feet, and along those lines, you'll want to avoid hot baths and showers, as these can make the fluid build-up worse.

Try some magnesium

One of the main ingredients you'll find in cooling sprays for swollen feet is magnesium, which is known to calm inflammation. Adding this ingredient topically can have a positive effect on swollen feet, but you might find that consuming magnesium is even more powerful.

Westfield Foot and Ankle suggests incorporating a magnesium supplement of 200 milligrams per day into your diet. It's important to check with your doctor before adding any supplement to your routine, but once you have the all-clear, magnesium can help to relieve your swollen feet by reducing inflammation. As Healthline points out, magnesium also provides a range of other health benefits, including helping to maintain essential bodily functions such as muscle movement and nervous system regulation.

You should notice the effects of a magnesium supplement starting to work in around three to six weeks, so you may want to start taking it a few weeks ahead of the beginning of summer if you know you're prone to feet swelling, per Doctor Seaweed. If you don't want to take a magnesium supplement, you could consume more of the nutrient in foods like nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Relieve your swelling from the inside

As mentioned, including more magnesium in your diet may lead to a reduction of inflammation in the body. But an even more effective way to target feet swelling through your diet is by reducing your salt intake.

Livestrong explains that high levels of sodium (combined with insufficient water intake) can cause an imbalance of electrolytes. As a result of this imbalance, your body can store excess water, leading to edema or fluid retention. Sodium is a key component of salt, and high amounts of sodium are found in foods such as processed, canned, and frozen meals, and anything with added salt. Try to follow a diet low in sodium to avoid excessive foot swelling.

Additionally, you can prevent electrolyte imbalance by ensuring that you're drinking enough water. "Stay as hydrated as possible, specifically with water and avoid any drinks which may increase dehydration such as alcohol or those with caffeine," pharmacist Abbas Kanani told Glamour. If you hate drinking water, a cute bottle might encourage you to sip more often!

Follow these simple tips and you can dodge the summer curse that is swollen feet.