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Have severe itching on body, hands are sore and swollen. Rash on chest. Is it due to side effect of blood pressure medication?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3094 Questions
My mother has had severe itching just about everywhere on her body,especially behind her knees, her hands are sorta swollen and has a blue tint to them and she has a small place on her nose, but that doesn't itch, she has a rash on her chest, behind her neck around her hairlin It just doesn't go away and has dealt with this since March....she has been to her dr. a dermatologist, the er, even herbal remedities....nothing works....creams, meds, shots, tests for what she might be allegeric to and no one seems to get the itching to stop...her skin is somewhat discolored, like it has a dark tint to where she itches...she is 83 and in good health until now....she thought it was her blood pressure meds due to the side affects listed but the dr's doesn't think so.....its beginning to be more than she can handle.....she needs immediate relief.....
Posted Sun, 3 Nov 2013 in Skin Rash
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Antihistamines, steroids, consult internist

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for the query,

I suggest a deep evaluation for a possible allergy to some specific substance be searched for. A complete blood count in search for raised blood cells called eosinophils could be helpful. Testing for an antibody called Immunoglobulin E is very diagnostic of an allergic process. Once diagnosed sources could be sought.

Parasitic infections like Filarial worms could also be responsible for chronic itches. A thick blood smear, and cutting part of the skin to examine under a microscope called a skin snip could be very useful.

A rare disease like Sarcoidosis and some blood disorders (polycythemia rubra vera due to excessive red blood cells) usually reveal themselves at times with chronic itching.

Relief could be obtained by using drugs like anti histamic drugs (Primalan, Aureus, Chlorpheniramine) and injectable steroids (Solumedrol or Dexamethasone), under strict supervision of a Doctor.

Your case should require a more holistic evaluation. I do suggest you book an appointment with an internist for a proper evaluation. Do feel free asking follow up questions in case you got specific concerns. Thanks and kind regards.

Bain LE, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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