Heat edema

Background

  • Commonly seen in travelers just arriving from a colder climate[1]
  • Thought to be from vasodilation, body attempts to shunt warm blood to periphery

Clinical Features

  • Self-limited, mild edema of feet, ankles, and hands[2]
  • Appears within first few days of exposure to a hot environment

Differential Diagnosis

Environmental heat diagnoses

Evaluation

  • Clinical diagnosis

Management

  1. Elevation of legs
  2. Use of support hose
  3. Diuretics are contraindicated (not beneficial and may cause dehydration)

Disposition

  • Outpatient
  • Resolves spontaneously in days to weeks

See Also

References

  1. Waters T. Heat Emergencies In: Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. McGraw Hill Medical. 2011: 1339-1344
  2. Waters T. Heat Emergencies In: Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. McGraw Hill Medical. 2011: 1339-1344