Local extra cellular water accumulation in a tissue is the essential feature of edema. It is a manifestation of lymphatic stasis as caused by infection, trauma or congenital lymphatic dysplasia. Usually the condition can be graded visually but difficulty persists in quantifying the edema with a non-invasive tool. Near-infrared (NIR) spectral imaging has been shown to be an elegant method to study the edema pathology. It relies on the scattering and absorption of light by the water and its constituents. The instrument presented uses a probe which can be handheld. It contains an infrared light source and a silicon-based detector device. A transmission and a reflection mode are studied. The measurements can be compared to a standard reference or to a previous result. This study confirms that near infrared imaging can be used as a practical, simple, non-invasive tool in the study of edema. This method allows one to follow the evolution or treatment of a clinical condition with edema.