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Hugely swollen legs, red & sore skin

Kikki21

Registered User
Feb 27, 2016
2,268
0
East Midlands
My mum has massively swollen legs again. They went down a considerable amount while she was first in hospital & now they have swollen right back up again.
From what I have read leg edemas are quite common in vascular dementia?
Her skin on the legs is sore & red also. The nurses are cleaning her legs & moisturising they but it isn’t making much difference.
Any advice please?
 

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
4,617
0
USA
Kikki I'm sorry to hear about this.

My only advice is to chase up the doctors on this one. I'd wonder about her blood pressure and circulation, and by extension, cardiac function (please not I'm not a doctor and I could be talking rubbish).

I know her mobility is poor, yes? If she is not getting out of bed I hope they have her on a pressure/airflow mattress and are checking her skin. She does not need pressure sores on top of everything else.

I hope others have better advice for you. I know it's all worrisome.
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,960
0
Kent
Dad had mixed dementia...vascular and one other. He also had triple bypass op in his 50s high blood pressure controlled by medication and possibly swelling was due to this and poor circulation. He always had swollen ankles and lower legs once his pacing agitation started...water retention also due to prostrate which didn't help...same as your mum...his legs were massaged and moisturiser. In dad's case elevation would have helped but he didn't have understanding...the only times his legs and ankles went down were when in bed in hospital and end of life. He was well monitored for cellulitis which can develop and sometimes his skin was a little red but not continuously no sores. Dad was tried on medication to help reduce water retention but made no difference. Have you asked Dr/nurse whether apart from what they are doing is there any medication that would help or indeed if current medication could be partly causing the swelling?
 
Last edited:

nita

Registered User
Dec 30, 2011
2,410
0
Essex
It sounds like cellulitis which is a skin infection and you need a specific antibiotic for that. The doctor should have a look at it. Other than that, if it is very bad odoema, it could be to do with the heart. Is she keeping her legs elevated? If out of bed, she should have them up on a footstool.
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,762
0
Salford
Form my nursing days the easy way to test for oedema was to gently press the leg with your thumb to a few seconds, if the impression stayed visible after you removed your thumb then it was oedema and if the disappeared normally then it wasn't. If it was the diuretics were the normal thing to prescribe.
I've noticed some of the residents in the home have lower leg problems, swollen from knee to ankle, in the diabetics it's quite common but it seems to affect the walkers more than the sitters.
K
 

Lmh1977

Registered User
Jan 7, 2018
39
0
Your poor mum. Their skin is so thin and any sores are not good. I would certainly suggest a doctor to look. Sorry if this is probably obvious advice. Never really know what to say.
 

Loopiloo

Registered User
May 10, 2010
6,117
0
Scotland


As Nita said, it does sound like cellulitis which requires antibiotics.​

Various conditions can cause water retention and oedema as you probably know. There is another condition called lymphoedema which is not water retention but pertains to lymph fluid. Diuretics do not help it as they do other types of oedema.

Unfortunately lymphoedema is a condition which is poorly understood by doctors and other medical professionals. It can cause cellulitis including a deep seated type which can cause serious consequences and antibiotics need to be given a.s.a.p.

The husband of a friend of mine with heart problems is experiencing extremely swollen legs. My late aunt had badly swollen feet and legs due to emphysema. I would think it wise to consult a doctor to try to establish the cause of the swelling and the necessary treatment. Meantime elevating the legs can be of help.

Not everyone with vascular dementia suffers swollen legs. My husband had it, the only time his feet and legs swelled was following surgery. Although it did take a while the swelling did eventually go down and his legs became normal again.

Good luck
Loo x
 

Kikki21

Registered User
Feb 27, 2016
2,268
0
East Midlands
Thank you for all the replies. My mum has been like this with her legs for years & various GP’s have seen her & not done a lot. They have tried various diuretics but they haven’t worked so clearly it looks part of her various ailments and/or part of her vascular dementia.

Her legs don’t look infected but I must admit they do look very unsightly. They are very red indeed & the swelling isn’t great. She doesn’t actually lie in the hospital bed but tends to spend her time sitting in the chair. I’m sure a dr wanted her to elevate her legs at one point some time ago which she adhered to but then has forgotten to it.

The thing is she has been in a hospital since before Christmas now & you would have thought that a doctor may have picked up on the fact that her legs might need treatment. I have had to speak up about her eyes as well as she has been constantly rubbing them so they are red & crusty now too. ( the ward is often very dry & hot)
 

Loopiloo

Registered User
May 10, 2010
6,117
0
Scotland
Her legs don’t look infected but I must admit they do look very unsightly. They are very red indeed & the swelling isn’t great. She doesn’t actually lie in the hospital bed but tends to spend her time sitting in the chair. I’m sure a dr wanted her to elevate her legs at one point some time ago which she adhered to but then has forgotten to it.

Spending most of her time sitting in a chair is not good for swollen legs regardless of the cause.

Does your mother wear any type of support/compression stockings?

I am not suggesting your mother has this or that condition but if you are interested you can go to the Lymphoedema Support Network website and read about this particular condition. A lot of people who have lymphoedema don't know they have it because doctors know little about the condition. But there are Lymphoedema therapists and clinics people can be referred to.

I can't do links but just typing that in a search engine will take you there.

Loo x
 

Tackle landing

New member
Jul 11, 2021
4
0
My mum has that,I do phone the doctor's,he gave her stronger water tablets,but he won't come out to see her, the only people who sees it is the carers, and I had a physiotherapist out yesterday, she was vascular dementia, I was wondering if it's connected, her feet are swollen and reddish, one carer said mum has water blisters, but the physiotherapist said it's a allergy
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
2,548
0
cornwall
My mum has massively swollen legs again. They went down a considerable amount while she was first in hospital & now they have swollen right back up again.
From what I have read leg edemas are quite common in vascular dementia?
Her skin on the legs is sore & red also. The nurses are cleaning her legs & moisturising they but it isn’t making much difference.
Any advice please?
Hi. Does she have kidney or heart failure issues?