What are Edema Gloves?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2015
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Edema is a condition characterized by a build-up of fluid in various tissues of the body. Edema gloves are designed to reduce swelling in the hands and wrists of an affected person. This is normally accomplished because they provide a gentle compression that is beneficial but not painful.

These gloves may fully cover the fingers. They might also only cover them halfway, leaving the fingertips exposed. Edema gloves usually extend one to two inches (2.54 to 5.08 cm) past the wrist on most people.

Normally, the gloves are made of a stretchy fabric, like Lycra®. They might also be made of nylon or a nylon-Lycra® blend. Typically, these medical garments can be washed in a washing machine without shrinking. They may need to be hung up to dry, however, rather than machine dried.

There are a number of different sizes of edema gloves, designed to fit people with small to large hands. The correct size is usually determined by measuring the circumference of the affected individual's palm. Extra small gloves normally fit a person whose measurements are 7 inches (17.78 cm) around, or less. Small gloves are designed for people with a palm circumference from 7 to 8 inches (17.78 to 20.32 cm). Medium-sized ones fit measurements between 8 and 9 inches (20.32 to 22.86 cm), while large is for people with hands that are 9 to 10 (22.86 to 25.4 cm) in circumference.


Edema gloves are generally recommended by a doctor after diagnosing the condition. Some of the symptoms of edema can include puffiness of the skin, a sudden increase in abdominal size, and skin that retains a dimple after being pressed for a few seconds. People who have one or more of these conditions may want to seek the advice of a physician. A doctor can determine whether or not an individual has edema, and advise the patient if she should use these gloves to alleviate suffering.

These items are not usually worn by people suffering from pulmonary edema. This is a condition that is also often characterized by swelling, but the affected individual may also exhibit chest pains and shortness of breath. These people should seek the advice of a medical professional immediately and not attempt any self-treatment.

The swelling associated with edema can often make completing simple tasks difficult. Edema gloves can help reduce the swelling of the hands normally associated with this condition. Affected people could find it easier to perform normal activities, such as writing or picking up objects, while wearing this kind of item.


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Post 4

@Perdido - That is good news to me! I have recently been having problems with painful arthritis, and there’s not a lot of medicine I can take because of a kidney condition I have.

Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to treat arthritis, and I am not allowed to take any of them. About the only pain reliever I can safely take is acetaminophen, and it doesn’t help my arthritis at all.

I tried on my mother’s edema gloves just to see what they felt like. I didn’t have edema myself, but my fingers seemed to feel better when I wore them. I guess that’s because they are related to arthritis gloves, which I didn’t know existed.

I am only 32, and I hate to think of a future without relief. I am going to give arthritis gloves a try. I sure hope they work as well for me as they do for you.

Post 3

Edema gloves sound just like the ones I wear to alleviate my arthritis pain. When I asked my doctor about medication to ease my suffering, he recommended arthritis gloves instead.

They are made out of a stretchy cotton blend, so they allow my skin to breath. They are soft and comfortable, and I sometimes even wear them at night.

The fingertips are open, so I can feel and grip things better. The slight compression they provide warms up my hands and stimulates my circulation.

Like edema gloves, they reduce swelling. My joints have fluid built up in them during flare-ups, and the gloves encourage it to move on out.

Post 2

After I underwent radiation therapy for cancer, I developed lymphedema. My lymph fluid collects in my arms, legs, and fingers, and I have to wear compression garments to coax it to flow out of them.

I have a collection of lymphedema gloves, bandages, and gauntlets, which are the gloves with open fingertips. They come in a variety of prints. I have some covered in flowers, butterflies, and leopard spots.

Often, I start out with a bandage. I wrap it all the way around my arm, starting with my fingers, where I wrap it the tightest. I wind it more loosely the further up I go.

Some days, my fingers are affected more than my arms and legs. On these days, I will wear either the gloves or the gauntlets. I choose a pair to match what I’m wearing.

Post 1

I wear edema compression gloves to alleviate the swelling brought on by my kidney condition. They do seem to reduce the puffiness.

My fingers and palms started retaining fluid about two months ago. They became partially numb because of this, and because they were so awkward and chunky, it was hard to type and use a pen.

The gloves are so stretchy that they allow for a wide range of movement. I didn’t think I would be able to type while wearing them, but I was wrong. Since they reduce the swelling, my fingers actually become smaller as I wear them, making it easier to press the right keys.

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