My husbands legs are swollen, red and hot to the
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Hello, I'm Dr. Branch,
Thanks for using 'Ask A Doctor' service.
My first question would be how long his legs have been like this? If it is recent, or they have just recently gotten worse, there are a few causes I would be concerned about.
One is a side effect from a certain kind of blood pressure medication called a calcium-channel blocker, usually amlodipine. Other possibilities would be acute heart failure, a problem with your kidneys, or rarely a blood clot in both legs.
If this has been going on for a long time (longer than a month), then the chronic venous disease is the most likely diagnosis.
Infection would be unlikely if it is in both legs. Other possibilities that could contribute would be heart failure or sleep apnea. For venous disease, it sounds like you are doing everything that would be recommended: leg elevation, compression stockings, and exercise.
If these are not effective, there are some medications that can be used to help blood flow, such as aspirin or horse chestnut seed extract (usually 300 mg twice daily), which has been shown to help with oedema in venous disease. Finally, there are surgical options such as vein ablation if everything else is unsuccessful.
If your husband has heart failure, then use of the water pills would be the most effective, but you should use these under the supervision of a doctor to make sure he does not use too much at once which could possibly hurt his kidneys.
I hope that helps, please let me know if you have any questions about any of that and I would be glad to discuss it further with you.
I'm not sure if I can add much to what I said before. The numbness (neuropathy) may be due to alcohol. If the skin is breaking open, that could lead to infection, and if his legs are very red and tender, I would recommend getting evaluated in case he needs antibiotics. Otherwise he should elevate the legs to help with the swelling.
It does sound like he needs to be seen by a doctor so I would encourage him to do that. Especially if he has an infection, he will need antibiotics, otherwise it is unlikely to get better and may become dangerous.
Sorry I can't help more, please let me know if you have any other questions and I would be glad to help any way I can.