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My legs where itchy , and so swollen at times the skin o...

My legs where itchy , and so swollen at times the skin on my shins was red ,shiny and I felt my legs would burst, so uncomfortable. A visit to the surgery resulted in being told my B P was up. I do also suffer from water retention, hence the swelling. The nurse had a talk with my Dr. (I didn't actually see him) The outcome was increase dosage of B P tablets, and the cause was the hot weather. I was to return in a month to see how B P was . Nothing said about the awful itching.

Two days later my legs where still swollen, painful and the itching was sheer torture, luckily I work at the local hospital and was advised by a colleague to go to A & E. I eventually gave in and asked to be seen.

The result was scans on my legs and later being told I had a DVT in my lower left leg. For three days I was given a daily injection in my stomach and then started on Warfarin. Apparently the itching is one of the effects of DVT. Antihistamine tablets were recommended, but with no gauranteed improvement, which is what happened. Good old Calamine Lotion does nothing at all. I now even have a rash on my arms & back and the itching is horrendous, my legs look as if I have been through a thorn bush ( it's imposible not to scratch ) A couple of hours sleep is all I get, I,ve even put towels in the freezer to cool my legs down with. I finally found a cream ( Eurax )that helps , but i used the tube in less than 3 days !! I,m going to try the lotion to see if it lasts any longer.

Has anyone else had to cope with this and HOW did you deal with the itching ???? sad :?

[i:023cbfa2f5]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:023cbfa2f5]

56 Replies

  • Guest Guest

    Wow,you have just describe my legs exactly. So what is it. I am actually working out of town this weekend and I cannot wait to get home and get to the doc. and find out what is causing this miserable itching and pain. any thoughts?,

  • Guest Guest

    I'm into my second week of warfarin following a DVT. I went to my local MAU yeterday with exactly the symptoms you describe. The concensus was it was some type of contact allergy and nothing to do with the warfarin or DVT. However, although I am itchy all over and have rashes on my torso and back, I only have rashes on my 'bad leg. My other leg is completely clear. I was drip fed hydrocortisone and have been put on steriods for a week and anti-alergy tablets.

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  • joshlyn14338 joshlyn14338 Guest

    I was diagnosed with crohns disease at 17, still am not in remission. I was getting my remecade infusion and told my doctor about my legs getting fire red, itchy, and if I even have water hitting them its pain I've never felt before. My doctor thinks I have lupus or fibromyalgia.

  • kathy71073 kathy71073 Guest

    I had surgery last summer, I ended up with DVT in my lungs.  Was on warfarin for 11 months, I am on low dose aspirin now.  Having alot of trouble as a result of the DVT.  I did find out one thing though.  the itching was terrible, I've tried several things.  The last thing I tried worked better than the rest and that is Frankensence essential oil.....I first put Coconut onil on my legs (like you would lotion) then I put of Tee Tree essential oil to heal the sores, then I put on Frankensence essential oil, it stopped the itching almost immediately.  you can get the essential oil off Amazon or at a health store.  I wish you the very best.  

    • bubbe1 bubbe1 kathy71073

      Hi Kathy,

      I just read your post from a while back.

      I am struggling with swollen, red and extremely itchy legs and feet.

      I do not have a DVT.  Doctor said I have dermatitis and possible venous insufficiency. She prescribed Cortisone cream for the dermatitis and told me to give that two weeks, to see if it helps. I tried the Cortisone for a couple of days but not only did  it not help, it seemed to make the itching and burning even worse. 

      I have tried just about everything I can think of to sooth the itch but so far,nothing has  worked.

      I am not able to sleep more than a couple of hours and am getting desperate, especially since I have an ill husband to care for.

      I am thinking of trying the Frankenscence oil and looked it up on Amazon.  However, there are many brands, so i wasn't sure which to buy.

      If you are still reading this site, could you tell me which product you use.

      Thank you.

    • chris41937 chris41937 bubbe1

      Hi I'm happy to say my legs are a bit better now but not due to anything realy I cannot say thay still itch but not as hurendelesey as before. My doctor had no idea. Now please take what I say as it my or my not be the case. I had a burning sensation in my mouth bad I could not eat my doctor was rubbish once again. I looked through the website and found out i had low viitem B take im now on

      folic acid this may have contributed for legs new bill of health and my taist back I don't know so please ask doctor

    • jacqueline40411 jacqueline40411 bubbe1

      hi bubbe1. i have had all your symptoms of late and occasionally now.i take antihistamines off doc and use Dermol cream also from doc.i also tried frankencence it didnt work on me.Im no doctor but it sounds like you have lymphadema like me. please get doc to refer you to the clinic to see you have nothing to loose. they are very helpful.please keep me informed.

    • jacqueline40411 jacqueline40411 bubbe1

      hi. you have to get your doc to send you.they then send you an appointment where they check everything and decide from there wether it is or not. then tell you what they intend to do for you.i found it very helpful.been going now for 12mnths. any probs and you just call them . hope this helps


    • Whatisthis Whatisthis jacqueline40411

      Yes, I was diagnosed with lymphedema by a well known doctor at Stanford in October 2017 and am receiving therapy and treatment for it.  I apparently have a bad case of unknown origin so they're considering different treatment options.  Horrible medical condition.  It's caused me to gain 50 pounds in my legs in six months.  It's like strapping two medium bowling balls to each leg and being expected to function.

    • Whatisthis Whatisthis bubbe1

      my stanford doctor simply took one look at my legs and knew.  he was telling other doctors in the room some of the "classic signs" of lymphedema include deep lines or wrinkles around the ankles and knees, sponge like characteristics of the leg, whereby pressure creates long lasting indentations, and what appears to be deformities in the toes and knees.  my legs are swollen, weak, numb, red, and itchy from the thighs down.  the symptoms are worse when i stand or am on my feet for long periods of time.  getting up from seated positions also causes the legs to hurt.  I wish you much luck in figuring this out.  It has been a nightmare for me.

    • trevor02428 trevor02428 Whatisthis

      Hi, I have had 4 total hip operations since 2006 and I have suffered from Oedema.  The swelling, the itching and all that goes with these situations.  I was reading all of the posts and what struck me instantly about your post was that it was like strapping two medium bowling balls to your legs, and gaining about 50 pounds in your legs in six months.  I am wondering if you have heard of tablets called 'FRUSEMIDE' 40mg ?  For one thing they definitely help with reducing fluid and for me - that was in my legs! The one thing that you will notice within 20 minutes is that you WILL have to urinate, and probably every 20 to 30 minutes there after for a few hours, and I am letting you know that when you 'have to go' then you will 'have to go'!  That is what happens to me as the tablet helps in a big way to get rid of the fluid!  I really do hope this works for you and please let me know how you go! Cheers.                                            

  • jack1957 jack1957 Guest

    i have had simalar now for two years the problem started some months after a ankle fusion operation my ankles swell so bad i cant get a shoe on some days my legs swell and the itching can be sheer hell especially at night

    i have seen my gp numerous times and apart from a quick glance she just says it a circulation problem gives me some cream i have asked to be reffred to a skin specialist but she wont entertain the idea saying oh they will tell you the same my mental health which is fragile at best of times is getting worse beause of this can anyone PLEASE HELP OR ADVISE

    • kathy71073 kathy71073 jack1957

      I can only tell you what works for me.  Tea Tree oil for the sores, Frankensence essential oil for the itchiness.  The Frankensence oil worked for me almost immediately.  You can get the essential oils at a health store.  I've also run up against a stone wall as far as Drs are concerned, no one wants to deal with it.  Hang in thre and keep searching out some ways for healing.   Good luck...Oh,yes, wearing the elastic support stockings is a must.    

    • Whatisthis Whatisthis jack1957

      same problem with my feet and ankles.  my problem relates to the lymph nodes around the groin area being swollen which has caused my legs and feet to retain fluid.  It's horrible. check websites that have pictures of lymphedema patients to see if their symptoms are similar.  I've been told the condition is usually brought about by something dramatic, like surgery or actually the removal  of lymph nodes, although none of that occurred before i came down with the problem.  my feet and ankles are burning as i stand and type this and it's been going on for over six months. 

      best of luck. 

  • kathy71073 kathy71073 Guest

    My heart goes out to you.  I went thur the same thing, only with blood clots in my lungs.  After I was out of the hospital for time went by (6 months) my legs started swelling, my legs got all red, and the itching was AWFUL.  Here is the solution I found after trying stuff, researching, etc.   For my legs, I put coconut oil on them (like y ou would a lotion) then put tea tree essential oil on them,  (again like a lotion) then I put Frankensencce esstnetial oil on them ( as a lotion).  When I put the frankensence oil on them, the itching stopped almost immediately.  I continue to use this formula every morning and every night before I go to bed.  Along with the compression hose, which I wear every waking moment....I can function.  Hope this helps y ou......Good Luck.....Kathy

    • jack1957 jack1957 kathy71073

      hi kathy i tried your soulution but intially it  seemed to help but then sadly just reverted back to the old state i am going to persevere a bit longer with it  has i am getting desprate now

    • kathy71073 kathy71073 jack1957

      Sorry it did't work for works for me great!!.  I haven't had any of that horrible itching since I started it.  Keep looking, searching,   I read somewher that a lady had this stuff and tried.  the kind of lotion/paste that mothers use for the baby's but rash.  Maybe 'Butt Paste".  Also, I think I would have tried the paste that farmers use on the cows teats.   I was going to try that next, but the tea tree oil and frankensence works well for me.  Good luck....keep searching.....

    • kathy71073 kathy71073 jack1957

      Forgot to urge you, if you are trying the tea tree and can  put it on 3-4 times a day.   Use some kind of oil, I use coconut oil, then Tea tree  (heals the sores) first then Frankensence.   (takes care of the itching)

    • catbird1956 catbird1956 kathy71073


      (Not the same Kathy)

    • Whatisthis Whatisthis catbird1956

      Hi Kathy,  i have the identical symptoms as you, which started about six weeks ago. I noticed within two days of pulling something in my lower back my legs started to swell and become red.  Mostly my calves now are hard as tree trunks and everything from both knees down is swollen, including the tops of my feet. It's painful, hard to bend the knees and impossible to wear shoes.  I can't crouch or kneel and I've found it debilitating.  I went to the E.R. x 3 within the last six weeks.  After blood work, 4 ct scans, 2 x-rays, and an ultrasound they were unable to diagnose my problem.  They said there are no clots and my heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, sugar, etc are fine.  I was referred to a lymph specialist who is scheduling for JUNE 2018!!  I read your venous insufficiency diagnosis which seems superficial.  The 20-30 minute problem is IDENTICAL to mine and I know we have the same thing.  After 16 hours of keeping my legs elevated, they seem to almost go back to normal but the minute I'm back on my feet the problem comes back.  If my legs aren't completely red and burning, there are blotches of red and burning parts.  Within the last 3-4 days I noticed the itching had started mostly around my knees and it's getting worse.  Aside from the itching, have you gotten a better diagnosis?  Have you found treatment?  This is affecting every aspect of my iife and I would greatly appreciate any info you can provide. I can give you my number, email, etc  if we can somehow private message or I'll likely leave my email on your reply .  Help please, I'm desperate.  Thank you.  Mark

    • charles44734 charles44734 Whatisthis

      hopefully you've gotten a good diagnosis by now.  Sounds like your life is pretty miserable right now.  Sorry to hear that.  

      Since you haven't been diagnosed with DVT, this observation will probably not apply to you...but to others here, it might offer insight:

      The leg has "back-flow prevention" valves....with DVT, these valves can get destroyed. 

      My first DVT, persisted, undiagnosed and untreaded, for about 9 months, and the valves in that leg got destroyed. So, now, when I stand/walk for a period of time, the leg will become thick, heavy, and painful.

      When I have an active DVT (like right now), the pain comes within minutes of standing.  Elevation helps.  It's really the only think that improves it.

      When you had your leg U/S, did you pay attention to where the tech was looking?  My latest U/S, the tech was about to end the exam without checking the veins in the back of the calf...which is where the problem was.  Amazing.

    • whataguy whataguy kathy71073

      Hi Kathy, just ran into this post and wonder if you are still using this remedy (if you need it) or if you have found any more recent info regarding this. Sounds interesting and if it does offer relief would really be a blessing. Don in MI

  • jack1957 jack1957 Guest

    wish i could offer you a soulution i have been going through this for 5years now and it gets worse my doctor dismisses it has poor ciculation been over weight and blood pressure even though thats well controlled by tablets

    i get perscribed the same cream time after time which only seems to work when the condition is in a rare mild form has you say scratching is nigh on impossible and the bottom  half of my legs are constantly swollen the long sleepless nights with this take there toll

    i wish you  more luck than i have had from my gp

    • jeanette 64401 jeanette 64401 jack1957

      I had similar problem, swollen ankles,horrendously itchy. Seen two doctors at my surgery. First one gave me the usual hydrocortisone ointment, told me when this is over, she will contact the vascular department at the hospital to get me an appointment. The other Doctor told me to raise my legs at hip level, four times a day, for an hour at a time, it is a vascular problem. She has written to hospital, vascular consultant. I do have diabetes also. And have had operation in each leg for vein removal. Also suffer with something called Charcot foot, so could never have an op on that leg. The lack of sleep is the problem. I'm like a zombie. Last night on waking with the itch/scratch syndrome, I exercised each foot, creating more circulationin the legs,by putting each leg in air and circulating ankle 20 times each way,  I did not get up as usual, I then put the cream on, went back to sleep and got at least three hours, which is the best all week. Will see what the vascular consultant says and let you know. Jeanette 64401

  • jeanette 64401 jeanette 64401 Guest

    Hi I'm having same problems. For last two days. Itching keeping me awake. Just had a operation, well a couple of weeks ago and am wondering or worrying about DVT. SO after reading yours will try and get a doctor appointment, although difficult as can't drive at moment.op was on left hand and I'm left handed. Will keep you posted but am just going to get onto AMAZON for f

  • barbara70182 barbara70182 Guest

    I have the same... suffered once for 4 months with just the lower legs itching.  Cold towels helped.  I tried every cream on the market the only one that cured it was

    Triamconolione 0.12%  It comes in cream or lotion... I prefer the lotion.    I get this periodically and I cannot determine the cause.  Now it is affecting my ankles and they are itchy and swollen.  The cream works for a few hours.  Finally it disappears if you keep using it.  Hope this helps.  I know how horrible it is.  Been there.

  • andy 80910 andy 80910 Guest

    Hi,I am a diabetic, with liver cirrosis for about 10 years and I just startrted with this itchy legs . Althought I have had it for a while off and on, now it's really bad. Even if I just lightly scratch it it leaves scatch marks and sometimes bleeds. I have been using some  aloevera lotion which seeems to help a little but I will go to the Dr. later to see what he says.

  • jacqueline40411 jacqueline40411 Guest

    hi im exactly the same but its my body that itches. doc gave me 2 lots of antihistmines plus some cream in a big tub which does help a little,but when i get too warm its horrendous.i sit with my legs up and massage them until they cool down,also dont have duvet over legs as it makes them even warmer.if you can sleep with the window open in a cool bedroom.tabs can make you not sleep as well if you read leaflet that comes with them.hope this helps.

  • mike03008 mike03008 Guest

    My legs from my knee caps down get so itchy I scratch them to the point I draw blood. As for the swelling it was terrible at first and had to incur a hospital stay twice, the second time my scrotum was so swollen they kept me in the hospital for a week feeding me with Dilaudid & oxycodone. Well let me tell you this that narcotic mixture helped with the pain but the itching went through the roof Then they decided to put me on Lasix. That makes you urinate constantly but at least the swelling has gone down. I myself also have high BP and have to take medication for it. It's just a big pain in the butt all the way around.

  • gillian15250 gillian15250 Guest

    Hi, I have really really itchy lower legs, have been back and forward to docs for over a year, finally will be getting bolood test today.

    the itch is terrible I will say one doc prescribed 180mg fexofenadine hydrochloride they are really strong anti histamine but don't make you drowsy.

    They are about all that helps for me, ice packs help a little bit not practical overnight.One tip is I do cut my pills in half cos you can only take 1 a day

    good luck

  • jacqueline40411 jacqueline40411 Guest

    hi i was exactly the same as you i went to my docs and he gave me antihistamines  and epaderm cream. then he changed me too dermacool a nd put me on steroids.omerprazole sleeping tablets and  vasaline type wash and i use baby bath too wash in.go to your doc and ask him for these.hope this helps.

  • gillian15250 gillian15250 Guest

    Thank you, I have more than one problem, I also suffer bad psoriasis, so use vasaline,  and occasionally steroid cream.. But the fluid retention and extreme itchy is another problem, not my psoriasis.

    have tried steroid creams, steroid tablets, the only thing that actually helps with the itch is the antihistamine fexofenadine 180mg, the strongest one.


    • bill98804 bill98804 gillian15250

      Hi, I have ESRD, so swelling of my legs is practically a constant "given". I was told that the itching was caused by excessive phosphorus in my blood. I took my phosphorus binders on a more regular basis, until my blood levels were nearly normal most of the time. The itching subsided almost everywhere, but my legs. The redness, itching, swelling, hardening of the muscles, pin pricks, and other constant pain, remained in the legs, and perhaps increased. My Dr. recommended vitamin B-12 & Magnesium, but I don't notice any change, yet. Is the antihistamine you recommended prescription or OTC? Thanks for any advice or help.

  • janice46673 janice46673 Guest

    hI: Thanks for the post.I also have terrible itching and burningfrom  The  Drs think the Edema is causedby Mirapex, which I have been on for years for Restless Leg Syndome.  I alsotake Vicodin for Chronic Back Pain and I understand it  can also cause  itching I have tried Eurax,Sarma,Gold Bond, Aveena, etc. etc.   All to no avail.  I have found plain old mout wash mixd workw better than athing I have tried.Will try anthisistamine.


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