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Suggest treatment for swollen calf and flaky skin on the shins

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Posted on Tue, 19 May 2015
Question: 57 yrs old weight 280 moderate drinker sugar levels ok blood pres ok both my calfs are swollen and a flaky skin condition ontop of both shin bones moist and pop out water when pushed on i can make an indentation in the muscle area that fills right back in like molders clay been going on for 2 weeks
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Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar (14 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Eczematous lesion

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Your overall health seems to be fine with what you say. I am happy that your bp and sugar are undercontrol (hope within 140/90mmHg and HbA1c under 6%).

With swollen calf muscle I suspect a malady in the vessels running under these muscles may be in veins or arteries or both. Thereby the vessel walls are thin and exuding the plasma out of it. This plasma is occupying the empty space and pressure on the muscles and lymphatic vessels. So there is secondary lymphodema I guess. This compromises the blood supply to the skin underlying tissue which has to give the necessary protection. This results in excessive drying of the skin, excoriation and flakes. This is eczema. You need an antihistamine tablet like Cetrizine to avoid scratching and bacterial infection. This may progress to cellulitis which is far serious infection then it requires IV antibiotic shots. Please post a picture.

I suggest you to moisturize it every 4 hours with oil or any good over the counter moisturizer available at the pharmacy. Along with it you should tie a crepe band starting below the ankle above knee joint so that the lymphodema drains. Along with it you should walk a lot so that the muscle there act as pumps to drive the excess fluid back to the circulatory system. Always keep the level of the calf muscles over the knees whenever you sit or lie down, put a pillow underneath. The crepe bands should be on from the time you get up early in the morning till the time you retire to sleep at night except when you apply the moisturizer.

First thing first you need to get an assessment of the vessels underneath with Color doppler scan. A vascular surgeon is the best bet or even a surgeon who charges you less than vascular surgeon. A nurse can help you with necessary tips to tie the crepe, apply moisturizer and recommend you one.

This is the cheapest thing you can do right now. Ofcourse Obesity and alcohol is contributing to the malady. You should not stop thinking of shedding weight. Any reduction will help.

Hope this answers.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli
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Answered by
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Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1778 Questions

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Suggest treatment for swollen calf and flaky skin on the shins

Brief Answer: Eczematous lesion Detailed Answer: Hi, Your overall health seems to be fine with what you say. I am happy that your bp and sugar are undercontrol (hope within 140/90mmHg and HbA1c under 6%). With swollen calf muscle I suspect a malady in the vessels running under these muscles may be in veins or arteries or both. Thereby the vessel walls are thin and exuding the plasma out of it. This plasma is occupying the empty space and pressure on the muscles and lymphatic vessels. So there is secondary lymphodema I guess. This compromises the blood supply to the skin underlying tissue which has to give the necessary protection. This results in excessive drying of the skin, excoriation and flakes. This is eczema. You need an antihistamine tablet like Cetrizine to avoid scratching and bacterial infection. This may progress to cellulitis which is far serious infection then it requires IV antibiotic shots. Please post a picture. I suggest you to moisturize it every 4 hours with oil or any good over the counter moisturizer available at the pharmacy. Along with it you should tie a crepe band starting below the ankle above knee joint so that the lymphodema drains. Along with it you should walk a lot so that the muscle there act as pumps to drive the excess fluid back to the circulatory system. Always keep the level of the calf muscles over the knees whenever you sit or lie down, put a pillow underneath. The crepe bands should be on from the time you get up early in the morning till the time you retire to sleep at night except when you apply the moisturizer. First thing first you need to get an assessment of the vessels underneath with Color doppler scan. A vascular surgeon is the best bet or even a surgeon who charges you less than vascular surgeon. A nurse can help you with necessary tips to tie the crepe, apply moisturizer and recommend you one. This is the cheapest thing you can do right now. Ofcourse Obesity and alcohol is contributing to the malady. You should not stop thinking of shedding weight. Any reduction will help. Hope this answers.