See Possible Causes of Charles III’s Swollen Hands

King Charles 3
(photo: Victoria Jones/AFP)

The self-styled “sausage fingers” of the UK’s newly crowned King Charles III have become a veritable internet obsession. After the death of Elizabeth II, photos of the monarch’s hands began to appear on Brazilian networks, although the British have been trying to guess what causes the seasonal swelling for at least a year. Fans and disaffected British royals have already developed several theories to explain why the monarch’s hands and feet are so plump and reddish, especially after long flights and on visits to warm climate countries like India and Australia.

According to Google Trends, the term “Prince Charles swollen fingers” has had peak searches in the last 12 months in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australia. Doctors interviewed by the report say that it is very difficult to perform an accurate diagnosis at a distance. However, they pointed out some precautions to prevent cases that lead to swellings similar to those of the new British king.

The biggest concern is whether the redness and swelling posed a health risk for the 73-year-old monarch. Even with the King’s mystery and public jokes about his own fingers, Buckingham Palace never issued an official statement clarifying Charles’ health situation.

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The first records of the then prince about his known “sausage fingers” are from a letter sent to a friend commenting on the birth of their first child, William – now 40 years old and who would then have sausage fingers just like his father’s. The image of a visit to an English pub in 2012, however, was what lifted the hare and put interested netizens in their hands.

In 2021, during a trip to India, where Charles went barefoot to enter some sacred places, the gossip came back with force due to swelling also in his toes. According to Gustavo Marcatto, a vascular physician, swelling in the lower limbs is a frequent condition and usually derives from heart or kidney problems. They can also be caused by chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins.

“There is a greater tendency for swelling in the heat, but the change in temperature does not have as much interference as the weather on long flights, over two hours”, says the doctor. Marcatto states that age and diet also only interfere if there are other associated clinical conditions, such as heart disease or renal failure.

At the first signs of swelling like these, the person should seek the doctor’s office to assess the health of the circulation, differentiate from other problems and receive guidance for strengthening the muscles. “Walking and good hydration also help, but swellings like these [de Charles III] tend to be painless and this hinders the treatment a little. As they do not feel pain, the person does not seek care and the condition can worsen over time”, points out the vascular doctor.

Rheumatologist Licia Maria Henrique da Mota, an ombudsman for the SBR (Brazilian Society of Rheumatology), emphasizes that it is not possible to make a diagnosis using images captured at different times and also because the lower and upper edema may not be simultaneous. “Several diseases can cause swelling, including those related to heart, kidney and musculoskeletal functions, such as rheumatics”, says the doctor.

Edema, in these cases, can be caused by crystals (such as those that cause the so-called “gout”), by inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (which cause pain and swelling of the joints), and even by autoimmune disorders (able to affect the soft parts of the tissues), explains Mota.

The alert for a rheumatic condition is given by the appearance of joint pain, stiffness and difficulty in movement, especially after sleep or rest – signs that indicate the need for specialized attention. “The treatments are different, but the evolution depends on an early diagnosis, and the faster the treatment is instituted, the faster the cure or control of symptoms is achieved”, says the rheumatologist.

About Hrishikesh Bhardwaj

Tv specialist. Falls down a lot. Typical troublemaker. Hipster-friendly advocate. Food fan.

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