Water in the hands


Water retention in the hands usually causes swelling, possibly painful, which can have various causes. In addition to more harmless causes, such as excessive stress on the arm, heart problems can also trigger the symptoms. After operations on the hand, water accumulation in the hand is not uncommon and usually disappears after a few weeks.


At Water retention in the hands there is swelling of the hand or both hands. Furthermore, there may be functional restrictions and abnormal sensations, but also, in rare cases, pain due to a strong feeling of pressure.

Is only one hand affected, this rather suggests that the cause is in affected arm or that a weak heart is responsible.
are both sides There are several possible diseases that can lead to general water retention throughout the body.

Concomitant symptoms

Water in the hands may or may not be the only symptom.
Depending on the underlying cause, other symptoms may arise. In addition to water retention that is limited to the hands, other water retention is often also found on the feet.

As part of a heart disease you can Shortness of breath, exhaustion and a drop in performance stand out. If the kidney is weak, eyelid swellings and a reduced urine output on. In addition to water retention, liver disease primarily causes one Yellowing of the skin. In the context of inflammatory and allergic reactions, pain, redness and regional overheating are characteristic. Unspecific symptoms like fatigueDifficulty concentrating, constipation, Weight gain as well as doughy skin can be related to a Hypothyroidism stand.

Water in your hands and legs

Water retention in the hands and legs after long periods of standing and one-sided strain occurs in a physiological way. Physical exercise and elevation of the extremities are sensible measures to counteract the edema.

If there was no such one-sided exposure, the simultaneous presence of water in the hands and legs suggests a disease of the heart, kidneys, liver or thyroid gland, and more rarely hormonal disorders.

If the pumping capacity of the heart decreases in the context of a Heart failure, a back pressure occurs in the veins with subsequent edema formation. The water retention occurs in the places where gravity has its greatest effect. Initially, the ankles and back of the foot are affected. When pressed in, dents appear that only slowly recede.

More information can be found here Symptoms of heart failure

Edema of the entire legs, less often of the hands, can be observed in chronic kidney weakness and occurs particularly in the early stages of the disease.

You can also find more information here Symptoms of renal insufficiency

In the context of an advanced destruction of the liver tissue, as can be found in liver cirrhosis, the functional disorder causes a blood backlog and an imbalance in the blood composition. Water is stored in the tissue.

You can also find more information here Symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver

Pronounced hypothyroidism can be associated with so-called myxedema of the legs, as well as swelling on the back of the hand. Leg and hand edema can also occur as a result of pregnancy, which is usually physiological and can be traced back to a changed water and electrolyte balance.

Overview of possible causes

There are several causes that lead to water retention in the Hands can lead.
Fluid retention in the hands (also Edema called), often result from an increased blood volume or a changed composition of the blood, which leads to a flushing of water into the tissue. They can occur at short notice and locally, e.g. as part of an insect bite, but also in the entire body to a much greater extent.

Water retention in the hands can occur without a pathological cause, as well as due to a disease of certain organs.
Water retention limited to a certain location (regional edema) develops, for example, in the event of one-sided stress or long immobilization. It can happen that after a long walk or jogging there is more water in the hands. The blood backs up in the hand veins and fluid is pressed into the tissue.

Heart failure

In the case of a weak heart muscle, insufficient blood transport occurs due to a restriction in the pumping function. Here are the typical signs Water in the legs or, if the left side of the heart is affected, water in the lungs.
There is water retention in the hands in this disease rather seldom, but can also happen, especially if patients are severely affected and mainly lie down.

You can read more information about this here Heart failure

Kidney disease

Also at Kidney dysfunction edema can occur, the typical areas here are mainly in the face area, but water can collect in the hands.
The cause of water retention in the body in kidney disease can be a reduced excretion of water and the loss of important proteins via the urine in damaged kidneys. This loss of protein changes the composition of the blood and allows water to enter the tissue more easily from the blood.

General information on this topic can be found here Kidney disease

Liver disease

Water retention in the body usually only comes in very late stages of severe liver disease. Liver diseases usually disappear much sooner Yellowing of the skin (Jaundice), other skin changes and a coagulation disorder.
Especially with the Cirrhosis of the liver, in which the liver hardly has any real tissue left, but is almost completely scarred, a disturbed formation of proteins in the liver can lead to a changed composition of the blood and consequently to water retention.

You can read more information on this topic here Cirrhosis of the liver

Vein weakness

In diseases of the Veins the blood can no longer be transported so well towards the heart, so that a congestion occurs and the water from the accumulated blood passes out of the vessels into the tissue. This is especially found when one longer distances and always let your arms hang down towards the floor. The water then collects at the lowest point, usually in the feet and ankles, but possibly also in the hands.
The cause is a weakness in the veins, the so-called Venous insufficiencyin which the venous valves no longer close properly and the blood is no longer transported well to the heart. This comes mainly in Age before and at Women more often than in men.


Many medications can also cause water retention in the body as side effects. Much more often than the hands, however, the ankles and legs are affected.
Take the blood pressure medication as an example Amlodipine to be named.

Other causes

There are two special forms of edema:

The so-called Lymphedemain which there is damage to the Lymphatic system comes so that the lymph can no longer be sufficiently removed and remains in the tissue.
Lymphedema can be differentiated from water retention in that when you press into the swollen area, you can create a dent in the water retention. In the case of lymphedema, a dent cannot be formed by pressing.

At the Myxedema special sugar protein compounds are deposited in the skin or muscle tissue, and it occurs, for example, in one Hypothyroidism in front. The myxedema is often on the back of the hand or in the face area. It is characteristic that the impression of this accumulation of water does not leave any dents, so the fabric is firm and elastic and the skin often looks doughy and rough.

Other causes of edema in the hands may be less common Hormonal imbalances or Allergies or inflammation.

You can read more information here Causes of Edema

Morning water in hands

Morning edema may be due to an unnatural hand position during sleep, which is accompanied by increased pressure on the blood vessels. As a result of prolonged immobilization (i.e. immobilization), the blood backs up and causes water to be retained.

If you notice water in your hands or other parts of the body in the morning, this may also be an indication of a Kidney disease be. The kidneys are sometimes responsible for regulating the water balance. They excrete excess water and hold back fluid when needed. In the event of a functional disorder, an excess can occur with subsequent fluid storage in the tissue. Usually, however, the edema occurs more frequently on the legs.

Even with one Heart failure can be at night Water retention form, but this is more of an exception, as these tend to increase over the course of the day.

Water in hands during pregnancy

Water retention during pregnancy is common.

During pregnancy it often happens that water collects in the hands or in the legs. It can lead to an uncomfortable feeling of pressure or severe pain. The deposits are often found after long periods of standing or sitting, on warm days or simply at the end of the day.

In principle, it is quite normal for the body to store more water during pregnancy, since the body in this situation also has one increased need for blood Has. The kidneys then hold back more water and salts to ensure optimal nutrition for the child. This puts a lot of strain on the veins, which have to transport the increased blood volume back towards the heart and are often overwhelmed by it. In this case, it is then washed out into the tissue.

To treat the edema there are a few things you can do by yourself.
In addition, a mild compression through light massaging lead to a reduction in the water in the hands. A balanced diet without restriction of salt intake and with sufficient Ingestion of fluids (sounds paradoxical, but it is actually the case that drinking a lot helps against the water in the hands) is another piece of advice for treatment.
In no case should you use dehydrating agents of any kind on your own, neither synthetically produced nor natural (such as nettle tea). Discuss the problem with their doctor, he will explain to you exactly which remedies can be used during pregnancy and which can cause harm to the unborn child.

If you notice severe swellings that only show up in the face and hand area, but not in the ankle / foot area and you also experience severe nausea with vomiting, you should still consult a doctor, as these symptoms are signs of a Gestosis or preeclampsia.

You can read more information on this topic here Edema in pregnancy

Water in the hands during menopause

The changing hormone balance is usually responsible for the accumulation of water in the hands or in other parts of the body during the menopause.
The menopause is increasing fewer progesterone educated. In addition to its main effect, namely to prepare the uterus for a possible implantation of an egg and thus a pregnancy, this hormone also has, among other things, a "diuretic" effect. Often you notice water retention much earlier, before you actually go through menopause. This is due to a slowly decreasing synthesis of progesterone.

In addition to the therapy options mentioned above, there is the option of hormone therapy in the special case of menopause, i.e. progesterone (and usually in combination with estrogen) to substitute with tablets.

You can read more information on this topic here Menopause

Water in the hands after an operation

After an operation and after injuries to the hands, these tend to overhang Weeks to months to water retention. Up to a year after the operation edema develop primarily in the middle finger joints, which is due to the higher vascular permeability in the context of the Healing process related.

Immediately after the procedure, immobilization in the cast or splint will reduce blood circulation. That plays a role in aftercare regular high camps of the arm and the movement of the forearm and finger muscles play an important role.

Other operations, for example on the heart, also often result in edema after the procedure. The formation is related to the inflammatory process that is brought about and usually disappears as part of the healing process.

Used during a surgical procedure damaged the lymphatic system or become Lymph nodes specifically removedAs in breast cancer surgery, the lymphatic fluid transport is interrupted. A Lymphedema can arise a short time after the operation and disappear again in the course of the operation.

If, on the other hand, it is a lasting interruption, the edema can remain forever.

Water in hands after exercise

Straight after Endurance sports how to jog or even when hiking, where the hands are often not used continuously, swelling of the handswhich is noticeable by a feeling of pressure or tingling.
However, this is usually not the cause of an illness, but a completely normal process that takes place when the tissue is only held still while the rest of the body is exerting itself.
This can be remedied by pumping regularly with your hands in rhythm with the Walking / jogging. You can also take a small ball or stick with you training and close your hands in a fist with each step and then open them again. Alternatively, you can use the hands raise from time to time to a higher level, i.e. over head or Shouldersso that blood and with it the excess water from the Veins again to the easier for Heart can be transported.
Usually, the water in your hands gets back into it some time after you exercise Vascular system and the swelling will go down again. However, if you find that the water has still not disappeared by the next day, you should talk to your doctor to find out whether you have other factors, such as the blood circulation or the Organ performance reduce.

In the heat

Are swollen, edematous hands often in heat to observe. Usually not only the hands but also the feet are affected by the water retention. The human body regulates the temperature through the vascular system. If the outside temperature rises, the body needs to multiply Give off heat. This is achieved, among other things, by widening the vessels under the skin. The blood now circulates more slowly and the heat dissipation is facilitated. The large vein diameter, the increasing permeability and a small proportion of muscle in the vein wall cause the blood to back up in the veins and capillaries, and fluid penetrates the tissue.

People with weak connective tissue, Overweight and those who take in little fluids. The female gender has a higher tendency to weaken tissue. It can stimulate blood circulation and alleviate symptoms Move targeted support. cold leads to contraction of the vessels also contributes to regression.


The tissue often swells up due to the water in the hands. However, especially on the hands, there is not much space for such volume expansion, so that the tissue is quickly irritated and pain occurs.
The skin is typically tight, it is usually plump and shiny. The water retention also has an effect on the nerves and muscles in the hands. The strong swelling can cause restricted mobility. The most effective therapy consists of good edema treatment with compression, massage and targeted exercise of the muscular function of the hands.

What to do

The hands are an important tool in everyday life.

There are several ways to treat water retention in your hands.

On the one hand there is the possibility to try out a few things for yourself in the case of small edema that is restricted to the hands:
So you can Put your hands upso that the water can be transported more easily towards the heart again. If the swelling is due to inflammation, the affected area can be removed cool. Light compression, e.g. through light, massaging stroking moving the hands from the fingertips towards the wrist can also facilitate the return of the water.

There are some too over-the-counter drugsthat can be helpful when there is water in your hands. But you should always be careful and it is better to see your doctor first before taking a medication, who can rule out worse causes (e.g. heart failure).
Over-the-counter medications that can provide relief from water retention in the hands often contain the following active ingredients: horse casatnut extracts, Bromelain from pineapple, buckwheat, Wobenzym or also grouse root. All of these remedies will have an effect Water retention reported in tissues with low side effects. Your pharmacist will be happy to advise you.

Medical therapy

Drug therapy with prescription drugs may also be necessary in some cases.

Here come the so-called above all Diuretics are used to help the body excrete excess water and thus reduce the stress on the heart and the vascular system. There are different groups of active ingredients, you should always make an individual decision in conversation with the doctor and, above all, pay attention to other drugs that are taken permanently (e.g. antihypertensive agents, blood thinners etc.)
The so-called are often used for water retention Loop diuretics, (e.g. Furosemide, Torasemid), alternatively there are other diuretics that your doctor can prescribe for you if you have intolerance.


Various homeopathic remedies are used to counteract water retention in the hands.
Most of the remedies are diuretic, so they can also be used against other edema. Homeopathic remedies include Acidum fluoricum, Hamamelis, Lycopodium, Magnesium and Calcium Carbonicum.

Vitamins such as vitamin B 6 can also help against water in the hands. Arnica and Barium carbonicum are also used. In most cases, homeopathic remedies can also be combined with “classic” water tablets. With this approach from different therapeutic directions, further therapeutic successes can be achieved.

In order to avoid interactions between the drugs, however, the prescribing persons (doctors and homeopaths) should consult.

These home remedies can help

Water retention in the hands is also known as edema. This leads to a build-up of fluid on the hands and fingers. Usually a local drainage disorder is the cause of the disease, so that the symptoms only occur on one side.

Exercise is a good strategy against the development of edema. In addition to the lymphatic vessels, this also activates the muscles, which also push the fluid back towards the heart. Massage can also decrease the water in your hands. You should massage from the fingertips to the hand and from there to the forearm so that the water is pushed back. Compression gloves can also help against the retention of water.

Grandma's home remedy for water retention consists of a warm bath with Epsom salts. Magnesium and vitamin B6 can also be taken against edema.

Often an excess accumulation of substances that draw water into the tissue is also the cause of the water retention or it contributes to the aggravation of this edema in the hands. Therefore, drinking a lot can work against the water in your hands. Nettle and mint tea have a particularly good effect. The general amount you drink should be around two to three liters of unsweetened liquid (tea, water).

Additional information

Further information on the topic Water in the hands can be found at:

  • Main topic edema
  • Edema cause
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Water in the legs

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