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Dry, scaly crusts oozing smelly liquid from legs, swelling and redness in legs. Test showed pseudomonas and staph. What could help her?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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about 6 months ago, my mom had an itch on her right leg. She scratched it and the tiny bump gradually started getting larger. her leg(from her toes to her knee) now is completely covered in dry, scaly crusts, oozing very smelly liquid out of the leg and redness on her leg, and her legs are swollen. she sleeps in a sitting position, because she cannot lie down. She was on Cipro for 20 days. Now it is spreading to her left leg. she had a culture done twice and the results were pseudonomas aureginosa and staph. It is not healing. what could help her and what could it be, besides the two infections?
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Hello,

Thanks for posting your query.

Swollen legs associated with dry scaly crusts may be due to stasis Dermatitis or Psoriasis. A direct examination is necessary for diagnosis. The cause of swollen legs needs to be treated first so that a good blood circulation can be established in the legs.

The oozing of smelly liquid is due to secondary infection of the skin. Taking ciprofloxacin orally is not likely to help her much. A specific antibiotic is needed after culture sensitivity of the swab from her leg. Local absorbent hydrocolloid dressings and adequate care is needed to heal the affected part.

Elevating the ankle above the heart while resting (to increase venous return and prevent tissue swelling), wearing properly fitted support hose, and applying topical therapy are necessary.

Systemic diseases like Diabetes also need to be ruled out.

Topical antibiotic cream like Neosporin and Bacitracin might provide some relief till she consults her dermatologist for proper systemic antibiotics and other treatments.

It would be very helpful to me if you can send across a picture of the lesion. You have a feature to upload the reports / image by yourself at the right side of the query page, please utilize that so that I can answer your queries better.

In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Wishing you good health.

Regards.
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