Edema, a medical term used for swelling, is a natural defense function of your body characterized by a swollen part of your arms, legs, face, and other parts. These can be caused by sprains, blunt traumas, or insect bites. It is also a common phenomenon in pregnancy, in which it is needed for the body to soften and to allow for the safe growth of the baby.
Edema can either be painless or painful. But regardless of which, we cannot deny that they can bring us discomfort, or they just make our skin look bad or keep us from wearing our desired clothes. Plus, having an edema for an extended period of time could cause damage to our skin, or they could mean something worse.
Here are a few kinds of swelling and it is the usual time it takes for them to subside:
Edemas in the bone and muscles
Normally, an edema brought by sprains or muscle strains from sports and rigorous exercise start to subside within a few days after getting it and disappears quickly within a few weeks. More serious cases of bone and muscle edemas can last for up to a month and a half, akin to a broken bone. But a period longer than that could mean a more serious complication, most possibly a problem in your body’s healing functions. This condition is not normal and should be checked by a doctor.
Edema that mostly uncomfortable than painful brought by pregnancy disappears in about a few days after the baby has been delivered. Retaining the edema for a week or two is even normal. But if the swelling persists for more than a month, then it could be a sign of something more serious. It could possibly be a sign of an ailment that had nothing to do with your pregnancy.
Swelling brought about by insect bites and stings can be painful initially, but they do not usually last long. In fact, the pain will subside or can be itchy in a matter of minutes or hours. Edemas caused by an ant or mosquito bite usually last for 30 minutes to five hours, while the initial stinging or itching can subside in about fifteen minutes or so. It’s common for the pain or itch to disappear even when the swelling is still present, and therefore the lump is nothing more than a temporary disfigure. However, the term of edema and pain can vary among insects. For instance, swelling from a cockroach bite are known to last for weeks. It is best to consult a doctor for such cases.
Swelling that are normal results of hospital surgeries last for months. For example, an edema from liposuction takes at least three months to subside. But if the swellings don’t subside, or become painful, consult your surgeon immediately. If the pain is accompanied by new ailments such as fever and excessive sweating, this could be a sign of infection.
Swelling From Blunt Trauma
Not only will getting hit in the face with a baseball bat be painful, you also have to deal with a swollen cheek for quite a while. Blunt traumas can cause a lump either in your skin, in your bones, or both. This case of edema is quite as common as sprains and strains, and both are quite similar. An edema caused by blunt trauma can last for a few weeks, and you can lessen that time by treating it by pressing cold, raw meet against the area of injury.
To wrap things up, most swellings generally last for up to 3 weeks or a month. But if they continue to persist and bring about pain or discomfort, it is best to have it treated by a doctor. For common edemas, home treatments and remedies include cold compress, massage, and medications. You can also place a piece of a frozen raw meat against the injured area, as is the common treatment for swelling. Furthermore, it is best to keep your injury clean (bandaged or cast if possible) to avoid further complications and promote healthy healing.