Five reasons behind why your fingers are swollen

Swelling, also known as edema, can happen anywhere in the body. It’s commonly seen in the hands, arms, feet, ankles, and legs. Swelling occurs when extra fluid gets trapped in your body’s tissues. Several things can cause this, including heat, exercise, or medical conditions


Perhaps, you suspected swelling after the rings on your fingers seemed a lot tighter than usual. Or it may be a case of highly noticeable bloating around the joints of your hands. Regardless of the severity, here are some possible explanations for why your fingers seem a little puffy lately.

Excess salt consumption

Have you been indulging in French fries or going overboard with the salt shaker lately? Your body regulates and maintains a balance with salt and water levels. In other words, when you eat too much salt, the body may respond by retaining more water.

This type of swelling tends to be mild and temporary, usually disappearing by the next day.

Exposure to hot weather

If you are being exposed to hotter temperatures than you are used to – in most cases, due to travel – the swelling may simply be a sign of a heat disorder. These may include heat exhaustion or even a sunstroke.

Here, the swelling occurs as a result of blood vessels expanding due to the heart. Furthermore, women are more vulnerable to this kind of heat-related swelling than men.

Various types of arthritis

Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout are three types of arthritis that may start out with the symptom of swollen fingers. If the swelling is concentrated near the finger joints, it is likely osteoarthritis over the other two.

On the other hand, those with rheumatoid arthritis tend to experience swelling even between the joints and around the wrists. And finally, when it comes to gout, you may also experience accompanying signs such as warmth, pain, and reddish discoloration.

Exercise and physical activity

According to Edward R. Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic, swelling can also occur due to an increase in energy demands of your muscles when you are performing some kind of physical activity.

“As you continue to exercise, your muscles generate heat that makes your system push blood to the vessels closest to the surface of your body, to dissipate heat,” he wrote. “This response triggers perspiration and may also contribute to hand swelling.”

Disease affecting skin, nerves

Scleroderma is a condition which leads to the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues. Healthline noted that the early symptoms of the disease usually involve swollen fingers in the morning and muscle inactivity at night.

Another condition to take note of is carpal tunnel syndrome, characterized by numbness and tingling in the hand along with hand swelling. This occurs due to the median nerve being squeezed near your wrist.