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Topic swollen legs with blisters Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By worriedaboutdad On 2010.06.13 20:50
Anyone have experience this along with PD? Daddy's legs look AWFUL! They are starting to blister and ooze. I think I have finally convinced him to go to the doc but he is so afraid they will put him in the hospital. Some of it is probably due to his poor hygiene. I am trying to step cautiously with making suggestions. His body is giving up but his mind and spirit are still fighting.

By karolinakitty On 2010.06.14 08:29
Worried.... we are going through that also..... he oozes liguid, i wouldn't say blisters but there is water underneath the skin. It may not be poor hygiene as much as not taking better care. By that i mean he has to know his limits. Mine is learning that now and is being very proactive on taking better care of himself in this way:
The swelling can come from several things... heart, lungs, drugs or the heat..... we've narrowed it down to a combo. The doc did an EKG and some other tests and all is well with the heart. COPD will cause swelling of the legs, this due to the fact that the lungs aren't getting enough oxygen and the blood does not flow correctly, similiar to the heart being the problem. Our PCP said some people just swell in the summer as it gets warmer and we have to worry about dehydration.
Right now we are battling the heat index, as in the last week it has been in the 90s with heat index 105 -110.
If the heat is the issue, MAKE him take breaks in air conditioning freguently, drink gatorade, this keeps the electrolytes and minerals in balance. Water flushes all that away. Diuretics may help but you shouldn't take them a lot due to the fact they also wash away needed minerals and such.
Mines legs would swell about three times their normal size, look blackish and ooze liguid. There is also something called Edema which is very similiar. If you can press in on his legs and the indent stays, then get him to the doc as this is due to the edema, there are several types and certain meds help with this. Here is a link to a UK PD group and posts about their issues with it: ... (you can read it like here without joining)

Dehydration is a very big issue with PD and make sure he is good and hydrated. There are vitamin/mineral waters, but, i have read many bad things about those so we stay away from them. Gatorade is your best bet, and if calories are an issue the G2 tastes good for being low-calorie, that is what we use.
Since he has been proactive about staying cool, stying off his feet too long and keeping hydrated, it is not as big an issue. They still swell a little but not nearly as much as they did. We have not approached the neuro about the drug issue yet, we are going to wait until the weather cools down in the fall and see how his legs do.
Requip has a side effect of swollen legs, it's not on the side effect list, however several sites i read up on, patients went off of requip and the sweeling went down.
Mine is not a candidate for Sinemet, due to his having PD plus, so we are leary of changing to a new drug at this time.
If you think his swelling is out of control, please see the doc as this can lead to congestive heart failure. If there are no heart issues it may be COPD also. Mine has Emphysema, as we just found out. He uses symbicort but this can cause thrush so he takes it for two weeks on and one week off to avoid getting those awful sores.
Hope this helps a little as we too are dealing with it

By lurkingforacure On 2010.06.14 09:47
My mom has this but not PD. Her doc put her on lasix which is a diuretic. It helps, but diuretics leach minerals from the body, mainly potassium which is critical for heart function, so you have to supplement. She elevates her legs when possible as well. Exercising helps, but she is not good about that. It is fluid retention but I could never get a reason from her doc for the retention, like most, he just wants to treat symptoms. He basically just told her it's something she'll have for the rest of her life and she'll have to be on the diuretic for life. Sometimes she'll stop taking it and within a week or so the legs will start to ooze water again, so she'll cave and go back to the med. It's a vicious cycle and one I wish we knew the cause for. My guess is that the body is having a hard time ridding itself of the fluid, for whatever reason, and so it pools in the legs where gravity is strongest.

By Mary On 2010.06.14 17:06
My Dad had this problem as well. Exercise, keeping legs elevated when possible, and massaging his legs with lotion seemed to help. I kept a real close eye on Dad's legs because when the blisters popped, I had to keep them very clean, they drained for a long time before healing and required constant care because they would become easily infected. In fact, before living with me, Dad let his legs go and they swelled up and became so infected, he was in the hospital for two weeks trying to get the infection under control. I was shocked to see his legs. He came home with me after that hospital stay. Hugs and blessings, Mary

By GlendaMack On 2010.10.03 08:07
If your PD person is taking Azelect
one of the side affects is blistering rash

This happened to my husband it did not get well till the azelect was stopped

I believe Segiline is the same kind of drug

My husbands rash got infected and it took over a year of wound care to get the wounds well

the doctors won't want you to stop the drugs, but it won't get better till you do

By parkinit On 2010.10.08 15:42
On the hygiene issue, do remember, that often a PDer is unable to reach down easily and when given an option, I've noticed, won't. I help my PDer take care of feet and legs often because he cannot. Otherwise, they would be horrible.

By Lotsapies On 2010.10.08 22:42
I don't know if this could happen but my hubby came down with shingles this week and he had blisters. (On his face and eye). Very Painful-I don't know if it could come out on the lower legs. It was explained to me that it is caused by your immune system being weak and stress, Since Bob has come down with pnumonia (sp)and now this I have to believe thats true.

By parkinit On 2011.05.18 19:40
I'm just posting on the blisters again because I asked our nurse what caused the blisters. My PWP has extremely swollen legs anymore throughout the day. This is something new in the last few months for us.

She said the blisters are a way the body handles excess fluids when it has basically stored as much as it can under the skin. It then begins excreting through the skin and forming blisters. As she visits once a week, she said, "We won't let it get that bad, though." I asked her how. She said they would prescribe a diuretic. Well, if you already have a PWP with urgency, this doesn't seem very appealing, does it? So, i asked what we could do NOW to help. This is her logical answer:

Avoid salty foods that will cause you to retain water. Monitor sodium/salt intake. A person should only have a total of 2,000 mg max of salt per day. My can of diet soda I'm drinking right now has 40 mg. It adds up quickly.

Good luck to all in the journey.

By LOHENGR1N On 2011.05.19 01:11
parkinit, Just a quick question for the nurse if you happen to think about it when talking to her, what about in the heat when We patients sweat about 4 times as much as "normal" people? What do you do to replace the lost salt? I'm just wondering what her response will be. I know you and your loved one have a problem but we PDers can't go by normal or general guide lines. Just curious if you happen to ask her. Thanks, take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By packerman On 2011.05.19 09:39
my hubby uses potassium chloride (lite salt?) instead of sodium chloride (reg salt?). that helps sometimes, although he still swells from time to time.

By plcpainter On 2011.05.20 11:24
Reading this thread with interest. My husband with PD has one leg that swells terribly. This is from lymphedema. The lymph nodes in his groin have shut down, probably due to radiation from prostate cancer 13 years ago. PD affects his left side more significantly -- he lists that way when sleeping, etc. Now, I truly believe that the PD affected the lymph system too,which undoubtedly was already compromised by the radiation. There is a whole system of manual lymph drainage massage that can be done very effectively to clear the legs of the built up lymph fluid. If the lymph fluid can not process back into the system, the skin will eventually split and it will ooze. Contact your health care re: physical therapy specifically for lymphedema. We chased symptoms for a long time before this was properly diagnosed. With manual drainage massage and wrapping the leg we can keep the swelling under control. It's a bother but is much healthier than the alternatives! FWIW. :)

By parkinit On 2011.05.28 08:58
Al -
In response to your question, reposted below:
what about in the heat when We patients sweat about 4 times as much as "normal" people? What do you do to replace the lost salt?

Nurses response: Make sure you consult with your doctor if you have both excessive sweating and swelling. It is a very intricate balance when you are dealing with electrolytes and one shouldn't tamper with this on their own without consulting their physician first. I mentioned the potassium chloride used as a replacement for sodium chloride and she specifically said this would NOT be good for everyone as a pat answer.

By LOHENGR1N On 2011.05.28 09:27
parkinit, Thanks, the reason I asked was a couple of years ago my PCP during my yearly exam was running through the usual "mantra" of stop smoking, limit salt intake etc, etc. When I mentioned it to my Neurologist he looked at me and said the way you sweat you have to have salt most people with Parkinson's need it. That said I know he didn't mean to pour a half an inch of salt on everything but meant not to worry about using salt, we need it. I just asked because many times when trying to treat one issue the effects of an underlying disease can be overlooked or forgot to be considered and we should raise concerns or question what's being told to be sure all is being taken into account. Again thanks. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

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