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Red, itchy, swollen legs
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Red, itchy, swollen legs

My mom who is 86 has had swollen, itchy, red ankles and calves for a couple of months. At Emergency, they told her it was an infection and gave antibiotics. When that didn't work, she went back and this time they told her it was a reaction to her blood pressure medication and to go see her physician. She has refused to see her doctor and her legs are getting worse. My brothers and I are worried sick. She won't go for help and we are so worried about her but we cannot help her. Also,  she has had a toenail fungus for years that was left untreated and her toes are a mess. We were wondering if this could have something to do with her symptoms. Please ... does anyone recognize these symptoms and clue us in? Thanks so much.
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14 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a podiatrist, and I can tell you that the toenail fungus did not cause her ankle/calf problem.  The swelling can be caused by, for instance, cardiac or renal issues.  Sometimes it simply is due to incompetant leg veins.  In any case, she needs to see her doctor, as Littlears said.  When the leg skin is stretched to capacity, it can become reddened or brownish, itchy, and may possibly ooze or form ulcers.  After examining her, the doc may want her to wear compression stockings (she may not like that!).
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Avatar_n_tn
she really needs to see her dr.  The redness and swelling can be edema with a secondary condition because she is scratching.  When the legs swell so much it causes irritation.  These can develop into leg ulcers is she on a waterpill?  Maybe she is not getting enough she needs to see her physcian before her legs get so bad and end up in the hospital with bad leg ulcers. Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you both so much for answering. We finally convinced my mom to see the doctor so hopefully she will keep the appointment. I hope the answer is as simple as wearing support stockings. Keep your fingers crossed!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had the swollen ankles and calf problem as well, particularly in the right leg. The itchiness and redness occurs as well. In May, I developed a staph infection in my right calf and ankle area and was hospitalized for 9 days. The swelling, since then, seems to be more of a problem. I wore a compression stocking, but the reason for the swelling in the first place is what concerns me. How can you determine that it is not cardiac or renal issues? I am on HRT since 2001, which is about the time that I noticed excessive ankle/leg swelling. I just had a physical and the blood tests apparently were ok and showed nothing unusual. I'd like to find out EXACTLY what's causing it and my Dr. just tells me to drink more water, walk more, wear the compression stocking and take the Hydrochlorothiazide 1X per day, as needed. Even when I do that, I still have the symptoms. Who should i see? What should I ask? What test do I need?
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Avatar_n_tn
poison ivy maybe?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have this same problem and the itching at night is driving me nuts.I already had sleep problems and now for the last 4 weeks,THIS.
If there is an MD out there that can point us in the right direction??I saw my MD;a good one I believe.He did a urinalysis,bloodwork and an EKG;found nothing.He prescribed a diruretic but I can't see any improvement. HELP!!   ERM
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Sir/Madam/Dr.............. my subject is about my
Swollen Fingers and Itchy Feet??
After about an hour after I wake up in the morning and get into my daily routine I have noticed that my feet begin to itch really bad. I looked at them and they do not have a rash or any signs of something wrong with them. After that my fingers begin to swell and it is nearly impossible to make a fist. It hurts but slowly goes away. I know it's winter and I thought it might be the cold but I wasn't outside when it started. It goes away after a couple of hours. It's really annoying, does anyone know what it could be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pls help with any info.. thank u so much...
Adele
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Avatar_n_tn
I hurt my leg and developed cellulitis. Then a red bumpy VERY itchy rash came. My doc put me on antibiotics and pennicillin (penicillin) and said rash was from swelling. Then a diff doc hospitalized me. The doc there said the cellulitis was either staf or strep and gave iv antibiotics and penn. THE RASH WAS A Yeast infection,not the same one you get other places, but from the skin swelling etc. She gave me diflucan by iv and a cream to put on it and benadryl shots. It cleared right up. so did the cellulitis. now the rash is coming back.Shucks!
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Avatar_n_tn
My father is 86 and is having the same problems with swollen legs and feet and the itching is driving him nuts. He has been to his heart doctor and everything tested ok. This has been going on for about 2 months and no doctor can give him answers. Has anyone out here found anything to stop the itch. He said he can handle the swelling, but really needs to stop the itching.
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Avatar_n_tn
I started using bactine 2x day and it started drying up the rash, it is a skin protectant against infection as well. It sure took away the itch. Then my dermatologist prescribed clobetasol cream[a steroid] and it started going away after 3 days. The awful rash IS GONE NOW! I hope when I quit [I am using it in the am only] that it won't come back. Hope you all can get the same help as I did.
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Avatar_n_tn
The only way I have been successful in keeping the swelling down is by putting them up really high for about 15-30 min at night before I go to sleep. I got a motorized bed which helps. During the day I put them up wherever I am if I can. Also when I know I am going to be on my feet a lot I wear compression socks. The skin has a memory,once it swells it remembers.The secret is to keep it under control and don't let it go so long. My mom died with congestive heart failure so I could tell horror stories. GO TO THE DOC, GET your legs UP, BALANCE sodium and potassium,AND OTHER MINERALS IF YOU ARE ON DIURETICS.WEAR YOUR COMPRESSION HOSE. I couldn't put them on myself so I bought a Jobst tool to help and it is so awesome. If all else fails go see a lymphedema specialist.Or a therapist that does lymphatic drainage.
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Avatar_n_tn
About a month ago I got home from work and took off my shoe and noticed my ankle was badly swollen. There was no pain until the next day when I found it difficult to walk and I had terrible pain shooting up the leg and calf area. I went to see my GP who referred me straight to the DVT clinic at the hospital as he thought it was a clot. I then spent 2 weeks under the DVT clinic having daily clexane (blood thining) injections into my stomach area. I had a blood test which from the levels which were low suggested I had a clot, I then had a leg blood pressure test which came back positive to a clot and I then had a ultra sound scan which should my main veins were clear of a clot and I was discharged and the injections stopped. I asked about the swelling and they told me to go back to see the GP. The first time I went back to the GP I was told to wear compression stockings and the swelling would go...it did not. The second time my pulse in the leg came back ok but my leg was still swollen was then told to leave it for a week and come back. I have had a pulsing feeling where I can hear my heart beat when sleeping or stood still and a pulsing in my arms and legs. Doctor told me at least this is telling me im still breathing but it is very annoying...! I am back at the docs today cos I still have a swollen left foot with a tightness feeling and now its developed a rash on the ankle and between the toes which is very itchy. Please please please does anyone know what may be wrong...? thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
My grandmother, who just turned 84 noticed her left ankle very swollen,red, and itchy on one random day. After about 2 weeks of an itchy ankle, she noticed a red itchy stripe below her chest. After about 4 weeks she went to her general doctor because it did not go away. She has had a bunch of bloodwork done by the doctor and they still can't figure out what it is. Any ideas?
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Thanks for writing to the forum!
In your grandma’s case the red itchy leg or ankle could be due to senile xerosis which causes dry skin and redness and itching. Poor nutrition and lack of essential fatty acids could be another cause. Varicose vein with thrombophlebitis could be another reason as these cause gravitational eczema. Fungal infection by Tinea—as in tinea cruris could be another possibility.
Do discuss this with her doctor and get her examined accordingly. Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!

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Avatar_f_tn
Get a comprehensive health screening. Take; blood; urine; endoscopy the whole shabang. Stress test also... some helpfully clues could be answered to most issues listed here..
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