Why do my fingers swell?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on
Fingers swell

Any condition that the hands suffer can limit the development of your daily activities. In particular, inflammation of the fingers of the hands can be caused by different reasons, from trauma to the accumulation of fluid or the presence of infections, among others. The best thing is that you go to your doctor to start the appropriate treatment before the swelling.

In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain why fingers swell and how to treat inflammation in each case.

Causes of swollen fingers

Different causes can cause the inflammation of the fingers of the hands:

Fluid retention

The consumption of excessive salt in food hampers removing unwanted fluids by the kidneys, which causes it to accumulate in the fingers and other parts of the body.


In hot environments, the blood vessels in the hands dilate. This causes increased blood flow, thus releasing heat from the body. At the same time, it causes fluid to build up, leading to swelling in the fingers.

Finger injuries

As a result of being stuck, crushed, twisted, or dislocated, the fingers of the hand can become inflamed.

After having suffered any of these alterations, the body sends blood and extra fluid to the injured area to supply the raw material for healing, which generates the inflammation above.


During exercise, your hands and fingers can become inflamed as the body’s blood vessels respond to the increased demand for energy from your muscles. During training, the body produces heat, and the vascular system allows more fluid to be released into the fingers and the toes, causing them to swell.

Rheumatoid arthritis

This is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the joints such as the fingers of the hand, especially psoriatic arthritis produces this type of alterations.


Infections caused by injuries to the fingers of the hand can cause inflammation of the fingers and pain accompanied by sensitivity. These infections are caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

When the nerve that runs from the forearm to the palm is pinched or compressed at the wrist level, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs, giving rise to the appearance of pain, burning, tingling, and inflammation of the fingers of the hand.


It is a swelling caused by the accumulation of lymphatic fluid. It is common in people who have had lymph nodes removed or damaged when receiving cancer treatment.

When axillary lymph nodes are removed, there is an increased risk of developing lymphedema in the hands months to years after receiving cancer treatment.


During pregnancy, the body produces up to 50% more blood and body fluids, accumulating in the hands or feet. That is why it is common to see hands and feet more swollen than usual during pregnancy.


It is a complication that occurs during pregnancy due to high blood pressure. The characteristic is edema in the face, hands, legs, and feet.

The following article explains the symptoms, causes, and treatment of pre-eclampsia in detail.

Renal problems

When the kidneys cannot remove excess fluid, the body retains it, so inflammation, also known as edema, occurs anywhere on the body, especially in the hands, feet, legs, or ankle.


Some medications can cause swelling in the fingers, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, steroids, and birth control pills.

Reynaud’s disease

A narrowing of the arteries produces this syndrome due to cold or stress. The narrowing in question decreases blood circulation, causing swelling and even tingling in the fingers when circulation returns.

Symptoms accompanying swollen fingers

The inflammation of the fingers of the hand can be accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue.
  • Shaking chills.
  • Bruises
  • Fever.
  • Lumps on the fingers.
  • Tingling sensation.
  • Increased sensitivity accompanied by pain.
  • The appearance of cracks filled with pus.
  • Rigidity.
  • Joint inflammation

Other symptoms may indicate that you are in the presence of severe pathology. These are:

  • High fever above 38 ° C.
  • Strong pain.
  • Finger deformity.

Go to the doctor before suffering any of these symptoms to rule out that it is a more severe condition and receive the appropriate treatment.

What to do to reduce inflammation of the fingers of the hands

  • When inflammation occurs due to the accumulation of fluid, it is recommended to keep the hand and arm raised, making the water return to the body, gradually reducing the inflammation.
  • You can apply ice or put on a cold bandage to decrease inflammation.
  • The doctor will indicate the intake of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to reduce swelling, especially when the cause is arthritis.
  • Moving your fingers, wrist, and arm frequently will allow the fluid to pump back into the body. This can be done by squeezing a stress ball.
  • Wearing compression gloves will quickly improve finger swelling.
  • If this alteration is the product of an infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria causing the inflammation.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any kind of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do fingers swell, we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints, and Muscles category.

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