Cause of Prince Charles’s ‘sausage fingers’ explained – and how to treat the condition

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While out on past royal engagements, Prince Charles’ fingers have often caused a stir among social media and internet users. According to Google Trends data, related search terms often include ‘prince charles fingers’ or ‘prince charles sausage fingers’. And the subject has been discussed at great length by Twitter users in recent years.

On several occasions in recent years, Charles’ fingers have appeared to be swollen.

In May 2021, Charles was pictured attending a royal engagement at a pub in south London where his swollen fingers prompted concern from fans.

Charles’ fingers also drew attention at the funeral of his father, Prince Philip, in April of this year.

And back in 2012, Charles reportedly laughed about his “sausage fingers” while on a tour of Australia.

What causes swollen hands?

Swollen hands and fingers can be caused by a variety of things, so it is important to discuss your symptoms with a doctor if you are experiencing this.

According to the NHS, a condition called oedema refers to swollen arms and hands as a result of fluid build-up, and this swelling will often go away on its own.

But if the condition gets worse or it doesn’t get better after a few days of home treatment, it is recommended sufferers contact their GP.

Oedema symptoms include swollen or puffy arms or hands, or shiny, stretched or red skin.

According to the NHS, oedema is usually caused by:

  • staying in the same position for too long
  • eating too much salty food
  • being overweight
  • being pregnant
  • taking certain medicines – such as some blood pressure medicines, contraceptive pills, antidepressants or steroids

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Oedema can also be caused by:

  • an injury – such as a strain or sprain
  • sudden changes in temperature – such as very hot weather
  • an insect bite or sting
  • problems with your kidneys, liver or heart
  • a blood clot
  • an infection

How can you ease the swelling?

The NHS recommends you do the following to ease swelling for oedema:

  • Lie down and use pillows to raise the swollen area when you can
  • Move your whole arm and shoulder – try raising your hand above your head while you open and close your fist
  • Massage your arm or hand towards your body using firm, but not painful, pressure – for example, start at your fingertips and massage towards your palm
  • Get some gentle exercise, like walking, to improve your blood flow
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wash, dry and moisturise your arms or hands to avoid infections

People suffering from swelling in their hands or arms should avoid staying in the same position for long periods, and avoid wearing clothes that are too tight.

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