Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Sunday, August 24, 2008 Kathe, Community Member, asks

Q: swollen legs bright red rash above ankles no itching or bumps

I have water retension,, probably from taking Norvasc 10 mg. This am I have a bright red rash on the insides of my legs above the ankles up to the calf. There are no bumps or itchi and no other skin discoloration. The rash isbright red and ranges from dots to smears.

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Answers (22)
Martin Cane, M.D., Health Pro
8/25/08 1:34pm




Thanks for your question. 


You are probably right in assumption that your leg swelling is due to the Norvasc.  This is a common side effect seen with this very effective blood pressure medication.  However, I'm concerned with your new rash.  My biggest concern is infection of the soft tissues of your legs, called cellulitis, which occurs more often in people with leg edema.  There are a few other things that could cause you problem such as: drug reaction; superficial phlebitis; deep vein thrombosis; and, other skin rashes.


You need to contact your physician for an appointment as soon as possible.  After a few questions and an examination of your legs, he will be able to make a determination of the cause.  He may request further testing to be sure of his diagnosis.  This is not a problem that could or should be handled over the phone.


Until seen, keep your legs elevated above the level of your heart.  This will promote drainage of fluid out of your legs.  Also, apply warm (not hot) compresses to your legs as often as possible, which will help any inflammatory situations (including infection).


I hope this has been helpful.  Feel better.


Martin Cane, M.D.

Retunda, Community Member
8/27/09 6:21pm

I have bilateral pitting edema, but the right frontal leg has a smooth bright redness, which is painful.  The right leg also has itching around the inner ankle and a creeping, crawling feeling.  Any suggestions?

Kim, Community Member
10/27/09 8:17pm

My Daughter has just come up with the same this morning, for blood pressure she is on.

Betaloc CR and Amldipine went to the DR and she told her to rub some cream on, to me cream is not going to do anything, tomorrow she is going back if it doesn't work, Dr did not know what it was, she is also on other meds for bipolar, and gets that creeping, crawling feeling in her legs at night.


Mary Henderson, Community Member
4/ 3/10 3:51pm

I do not have that creeply funny feeling, but every now and then I do have a little ache now and then around the ankles.

Arlene Ridder, Community Member
12/29/09 12:19pm

Pitted edema needs to be evaluated right away.  It can be the symptom of a number of conditions.  When your body holds too much water you get pitted edema.  It can be caused my a number of conditions you should see a doctor.  When your body holds onto too much water for too long, it makes your heart work harder.  If your heart works hard too long it will start failing.  It can be anything as simple as a medicine you are on to something more serious.  Maybe consider seeing a cardiologist, and have him do an echo.  You didn't say your age.  Is there are family history of heart, diabetes, high blood pressure?


Good Luck

Mary Henderson, Community Member
4/ 3/10 3:59pm

My father had high blood pressure, and he died having a massive heart attack. But when I go to the doctor my blood pressue is good. I went to the doctor on Monday, and it was 120 over 80 and the nurse said that it was fine.

Jolana . B, Community Member
6/ 4/11 4:33pm



My dad is after an operation with his heart, it's been a year since the operation, his both legs are swollen and he also has the red rash above ankles\no itching or bumps,,,i am very,very worried.There is a family history of heart problems and very high blood pressure.....

Is it serious?

Can we do anything to make it better?


                       Please replay on my E-mail: j5_red@hotmail.co.uk

SP, Community Member
12/ 8/09 4:24am

I have a similar problem and am also taking Norvasc.  I get a distinct line across my ankle, below which it is red and slightly warm...right leg worse than the left.  I joke that I "have my red socks on."  Today I noticed that my knees were also red and warm to the touch.  Hope it's not getting worse...

Mary Henderson, Community Member
4/ 3/10 4:01pm

I hope that it is not getting worse to. And I hope that you can get the help that you need. Thank you so much for your input.

Ann, Community Member
11/29/11 10:42pm
Check out chronic venous insufficiency” (CVI) Reply
Ann, Community Member
11/29/11 10:43pm
Check out chronic venous insufficiency” (CVI) Reply
pat, Community Member
1/25/10 5:25pm


    My name is Patrick.  I too have these same symptoms.  My dr. recently doubled my dosage of Diovan to control my blood pressure.  Seems like now that i am thinking about it, thats when my problem started. I notice it seems better when I get extra exercise.  My age is 46.


    Wonder if it is a side affect of my Diovan.


I showed my dr. at my visit 2 weeks ago,  he kinda chuckled and said.  could be a blood clot!   but recommended I do nothing.   makes you wonder if i should get a second opinion. 

kmenurse, Community Member
5/26/10 9:17pm

Hello I can't believe that if your Dr. even thought Blood Clot that he didn't order a doppler ultra sound. I WOULD GET ANOTHER OPINION!  It may not be that but better safe then sorry....

Jeff, Community Member
8/ 8/10 12:34pm

I have similar problem.  I am 46-year old male with a long history of well-controlled high blood pressure (since my early 30's).  Over the past year, I have had.  I have always been on an ARB (Avapro) but I am now on Avalide (about 2-years now).  Fort the past year I have had leg edema and my ankles, tops of my feet, and shins have been very achy.  They have also progressively become more and more discolored....  They started out rashsy, but are now becoming darker. My former PCP said it was nothing, my new PCP had my legs scanned for blood clots (negative).  Could I have cellulitis?

Loren, Community Member
4/18/12 11:59am

Bright red rash mostly on left leg above ankle 2/3rds of leg almost to the knee with some itching in reddest areas. The right leg has a small patch of red on the inside of the leg and above the sock line and ankle but minimal compared to the left leg.

chanda, Community Member
12/25/11 7:37pm



Tommie, Community Member
11/21/12 11:40pm

I have similar symptoms, although no high blood pressure meds.

I do take Lovaza and Crestor, and recently started a job where I am on my feet for several hours, about every other day.

I noticed the redness this a.m. in the shower, and the swelling when I got home from work.

Would you also advise elevating my feet?

I do try to drink alot of water, and do not add salt to my food.

Could it just be that my feet and legs aren't used to being on them for so long, on a concrete floor, doing alot of walking?

I do plan on seeing my Dr. as soon as I can.

Thank you,


dain, Community Member
1/24/09 12:43am

i have the same rash it is bright red and ranges from dots its in my skin no bumps or itchi what do i do scared the mess out of me

randy123, Community Member
1/26/09 9:24pm

swellen above ankles red rash and itchs no bumps

Joanne, Community Member
8/21/09 2:20pm

I have the same thing, but I  had itching before rash appeared.  Just at Dr last week everything was fine, she is not in today or I would be there, I will be next Monday.

Joanne Bennett, Community Member
9/ 5/11 11:02pm

I have the same problem. when i walk around for a long period of time I get swollen feet and red dot rash above my ankles and uo my calf no bumps it itches then it is hot feels like you can fry an egg on my leg..... I went to a Dr and they feel i have the disease PAD...... they wanna put me on chomid but i feel i am a little to young for that have you heard anything thanks Joanne B

mendajane, Community Member
3/19/09 11:18pm

I don't know Kathe but when you find out let me know.  I have the same thing and I also take 10 mg Norvasc

Kathe, Community Member
3/20/09 1:50am

Thank you Dr. Crane, for your good advice. I did go to my Dr. immediately and she confirmed my suspision. It was the 10 mg Norvasc. I had been taking a lower dosage for awhile with no reaction. When the dosage was raised to 10 mg I started with the swelling and cellulitis. We caught it early and it healed quickly. However, the heavy swelling in my legs lasted for several months, gradually reducing until it was gone. My Dr. had told me when she stopped the Norvasc that it would take quite a while fror the swelling to go away. It was interesting, when I knew I was on the mend, to see my skin stretched to the fullest and to have no ankles at all!  I would advise anyone with quick and unusual swelling in the legs to see their Dr. right away.

Brandon, Community Member
8/20/09 1:20am

I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure recently. I was prescribed Procardia. Two days after i started taking the meds, my ankles and feet turned bright red and have become so swollen that the skin is very tight. Please advise

Joanne, Community Member
8/21/09 2:17pm

I have the same thing wish I knew what it was, only mine started with an itch, I did a lot of walking yesterday we were at Gettsburg, had a great time but by 6:30 I had a terrible itch, today rash is firey red no itch, and I don't think it is poison, I took a shower and used cotton balls and alochol to rub on it, fine now only still red.  As far as I know my blood pressure is fine, was at Dr on Tuesday everything was fine, she is not in today or I would be there.  If I have it Monday I will see her.  Also not on any new medicine.

Jenny Delgado, Community Member
8/ 2/10 9:03pm

Hi Joanne i also have the same thing .I went to Cedar point walked around for a little while , it started to itch then turned bright red around my ankle and lower calf area. It didnt really bother me pain wise it was more puzzling .My Dr. was stumped sent me out for a bunch of blood work and has not come up with anything.Have you gottin an answer?

Ron, Community Member
9/11/09 2:23pm

I have swollen feet redness and inflammation around the ankles and urgent care doctor diagnose  with having symptoms for vasculitis. She put me on steroids to reduce the swelling in the foot. It did and then it came back again my regular doctor has taken blood tests, urine test, chest xray, and now he has refer me to a rhuematologist. I am on norvasc 10 mg.  too now after reading your answer from the doctor I am thinking it could be aside affect of the medicine. I have been on it nine months and I recently starting taking liptor 10mg which I thought could have started this condition but my doctor said no. My condition has lasted about two months so with the new information I have thanks to you and the doctor maybe I can get back to normal.



bc, Community Member
11/ 9/09 5:09am

I also had this same symtom and it was discovered to be from the norvasc.  I was taken off and within 24 hours, the rash had started to lighten and the swelling to go down.  I was also given a six day course of steroids and this has helped greatly.  It was a first tought to be cellulitis because I have had that before and was given antibiotics which did absolutely nothing.

Best of luck

Mary Henderson, Community Member
4/ 3/10 3:46pm

my leg is not swollen, but there is a red rash on the outside of my legs and the top of my foot.

kmenurse, Community Member
6/ 1/10 1:54pm

Do you have pain? And does the area feel warm or hot.  I think it would be a good Idea to call and see your Dr. Be sure to decribe what is going on in detail.

hickorynut, Community Member
10/11/10 7:05pm

I'm taking Norvasc 10mg and developed the bright red ankle rash, more prominent on my left leg than the right.  This was after a 40 mile bicycle ride.  It's not itchy or painful but slightly warm. My ankle is slightly swollen.  Since I'm out of town, I called my PCP and he recommended I go to an urgent care facility. Hesitant to do this I thought I would wait it out especially with all the comments about Norvasc being a probable cause.  Am I wrong to wait and see?

Denise Masciale, Community Member
10/15/10 2:30pm

I have been having the same problem for a few months now. Feet/ankles & legs very swollen.  Last month I woke up with redness and pain in the back of my leg from the calf down. My right leg is much bigger than my left.  I am getting those pin needle red dots all over my feet like old people have.  (I am 55) and my legs seem to be discoloring.  Went to the doc yesterday, did a chest x-ray for enlarged heart and fluid. Negative.  Did a bilateral ultrasound on both legs, that too negative.  Still waiting for blood tests, so I will let you know when that comes back. I wake up in the a.m. with perfectly skinny legs and ankles!  The minute I start walking around I start to swell.  I have had RA since I was 20, but always controlled by pain relivers, over the counter stuff.  Blood pressure slightly elevated.  My feet hurt all day and legs stiff from swelling. Anyone else with any ideas?

Graley, Community Member
11/23/10 5:38am

Sorry...I dont have an answer but so glad i found this.


I have been on blood pressure meds for about a year now and realize now thats around when my prob started.  I take lisinapril with a diaretic in it or something like that. I have a normal left ankle...but the right seems to have a swollen pad (fatty part over the bone). Its dark...can be really red to almost black. The worst part is that it changes....the reder or blacker it is makes it start to itch which it doesnt normally...and its painful when i hit it or rub it on something. Now its starting to look scaley. My dr. seems to ignore it after like 8 months of me asking :( finally the last time in he gave me a steroid cream for it and a lotion (i didnt get cause its $50 and ins doesnt cover O.o). The cream isnt helping he acts like its no biggy but the left ankle is headed that way starting with the same discolorization that the other started with.


I have asked is it the blood pressure, a  skin ailment, diabetic sympton (prediabedic here), or even lupus that runs in my fam....my mom and 3 of us 5 girls have lupus.


I have just got to the point where i wanna say what is it!!!  even if it cant be fixed i wanna know whats wrong :(

Beverly Dorsey, Community Member
12/12/10 11:08am

I sounds like you have the same doctor that I do! I have had this problem for about 2 years now. It just seems to be getting worse. My doctor always asks if I've had any swelling in my hands, legs or feet at the begining of each exam. I always tell him yes and show him. Then he ignores it. Walking has become very painful and difficult, I try to use a kitchen chair with wheels at home and one of those motorized scooters that some stores provide. I would really like to have my life back. This is a very important manner to me and it's frustrating that doctors just poo-poo it away.  

Kevin Ghatish, Community Member
2/10/11 12:20pm

Not Sure

BRigs, Community Member
3/16/11 3:39am

what is the cause (causes) of this condition? 

Ernestine Murphy, Community Member
7/ 6/11 2:06pm

I have red splotches on the top of both feet and on the backs of my legs not up to my knees just the lower part.  I am Diabetic, Have Chronic Renal Failure and severe amnemia. I had a Transfusion about 2 weeks ago. I am itching really bad on those areas on my feet and am nauseated all the time.  Hopefully someone can help me!!!!!!!!!!!

Ann, Community Member
11/29/11 10:37pm
I take norvasc , I have that to Are your feet and ankles swelled check this out. chronic venous insufficiency” (CVI) that's what I have thank Ann Reply
Fronika, Community Member
2/20/12 12:22pm

Everyone with high blood pressure should drink pure beetroot juice every day.  It has a proven success rate.  I am in the UK and buy Beet It.  Google information on pure beetroot juice for more information.  

lisa, Community Member
3/31/12 10:32pm

i have water retension  i have bright red rash on the insides of my legs no there are no bumps or itchi the ras is bright red and ranges from dots to smears 

karenp, Community Member
4/19/12 7:14pm

My ankles have started swelling over the past two months, mostly the right.  They were really bad last night and developed the bright red rash on both legs just above the ankle.  It is hot to the touch.  She thinks it is because my blood presssure meds were changed to exforge recently.  She ordered an ultrasound just to make sure, and changed my meds.  I hope I don't have a blood clot since my apt isn't until next week!  If it is cellulitis, will it become worse by waiting a week? Its painful to touch and even more when pressure is put on the leg.

Bonnie, Community Member
8/ 3/12 7:59am

There are no bumps just solid red above the ankles.

Trista, Community Member
7/11/13 10:58am

I have the same problem, only left side swelling, and started when I was pregnant with my second (and last) child.  I only get the rash when it is hot out. 

As far as itching, I noticed if I don't scratch it, it doesn't itch. 

I am 45.  The only medication I take is triphasil for birth control.  I am a school teacher so spend a lot of time on my feet.  Had veins stripped on the left side about 3 years ago.  I go for yearly scans and the vein health is fine.


My gyno at the time just said it was related to the pregnancy.  As she is now 5, I guess I am stuck with this for life.  I think the swelling is probably worse in the summer because I don't wear support hose which I will wear in the cooler months. 


Will post more if I get more info from my doctor.  If anyone has new insight, please share.

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By Kathe, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/22/14, First Published: 08/24/08