Fluid retention on the feet and Pedi's


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Well-Known Member
Sep 14, 2006
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Hi, I visited my aunty tonight and gave her a manicure; she's never had one before so I gave her the full works with heated mitts etc and she loved it! She mentioned about her feet but she has quite a bit of fluid retention on them, she says its because of the meds she is on for emphysemia (dont know if i spelt that right).
I wasnt sure whether she could still have a pedicure with theis fluid retention? Her feet are otherwise in good condition, a little dry but not too bad overall and she has no other probs with them..

What would your advise be as to whether to do it or not?
I am no doctor but i thought emphysemia was a chest condition. I do not not know how this would affect a bit of pampering on the feet. i suspect it would not but not having the full knowledge of what medication that has been administered i would not like to pass comment. I really think it would probably have a lifiting affect more than anything detrimental to her health, however, a quick chat with her GP (even if it is on the phone) should put to rest any concerns. lol
Hello emily

Looking from a Reflexologist point of view, it depends on how bad the swelling is, if it's really bad then I'd give a pedi but avoid the massage. If however it's only minimal then a little light massage will help to move the odema and help the feet feel more comfy, as long as you're gentle.

Better make sure also that there are no other problems causing the oedema such as heart probs, which can sometimes accompany emphysema, then just avoid the massage.

That's what I'd do anyway.

Hope this helps
I am no doctor but i thought emphysemia was a chest condition.

The fluid retention is probably caused by the medication, but could be a symptom of heart problems which sometimes accompany emphysema.
hi, thanks for the replies, the fluid is mainly around her ankles, i did ask her if she as aware of it and she said yes and because of the steriods etc she has thats what causes it. I will prob do the ped but without a massage, or do you think a light massage aorund her toes and the ball of her foot (where there is no swelling) would be ok?
i was just gonna say before i read the rest of the reply's it will be the steriods that will cause the swelling ASWELL as the emphysema itself (due to lack to the inadequecy of the hearts pumping action).
I personally wouldnt recommend massaging the area as it could make the edema worse.
Well i am not a doctor but in a previous life (it seems that long ago) i was a nurse.
Emphysima is a chest condition which effects the lungs which has a knock on effect to the heart and vascluar system. The fluid retention on the legs is unlikely to be caused by the meds, more likely the lack of movement and the hearts reduced performance. The feet can be raised to reduce the fluid in them but this can put stress on the heart and vascular system.
The best way to reduce the fluid is by exercise (walking), as the movement of the legs (contractions of the large muscles) helps return the blood to the heart (there are one way valves found in the veins in the legs), and hence reduces work load of the heart and lungs.
From your point of view what you have to be really careful of is not to damage any of the skin on the feet as any wound would likely ulcerate when there is high quantities of fluid. This would then take ages or possibly not heal at all. However when i was nursing we would always get a podiatrist/chiropodist in when there was a risk.
I hope this has been of some help and if you have any other questions please feel free to ask.
I agree with jo. I'd do the pedi but no massage and no cuticle nipping just incase you catch the skin, just use good cuticle remover and gently push back the loose skin.

I think just common sense applies as in most cases. It's hard to give accurate advice on here as you can't see the person's feet and don't know their history but I'm sure a basic pedicure would be fine.

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