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Old 05-13-2008, 12:02 AM   #1
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Persistent skin reactions?

Is it normal for skin problems from the effects of medications to persist? I get rashes frequently and am still learning to live with them.
I have a rash on my neck and upper chest, -same shape as my V-neck shirt- which simply does not want to go away. Sometimes it is very itchy, other times it isn't. Sometimes it seems almost gone, then it doesn't. Once it became puffy. Now it's just red. It is driving me insane.
I have been waking up with a flushed face. The flushing-redness- is spotty, the skin feels tight. It stays like that most of the day. I cover it up with make-up but the redness can still be seen. These are not hot flashes. I am starting to feel really frustrated with these skin problems. I was very dizzy and nauseous this morning and had to go back to bed. My head felt weird, especially behind the eyes.
The pharmacist later checked all my meds for interactions. She said I could be allergic to my CCB - the only recent change in medication. I was switched from one type of a CCB to another. Apparently, not all allergic reactions happen right after starting medication.
I can't see my new doctor for two more weeks. Does this sound like an allergic reaction to a drug, or some other type of allergy? Could I have developed a sensitivity to sunlight? Because of a low blood pressure reading last night, I had not taken my medications before going to bed. I wonder if that's why I felt so sick this morning. I just measured the blood pressure - 114/77 and 115/74. So no meds again tonight. My face is still red.

flowergirl

Last edited by mod-anon; 05-13-2008 at 12:09 AM. Reason: starting a new thread with this post.

 
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:40 AM   #2
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

I would suspect if you were having a reaction to medications it wouldn't just happen right there at your 'v neck' shirts. That sounds like a reaction to the sun or some lotion or soap. An allergy to a medication would not come and go ..you would see and/or feel it all over and it would stay for as long as you were on that medicine. When I take anything with codeine in it I will have a slight red itchy rash all over from head to toe...not severe but enough to be annoying. .....however an upset stomach can be caused by a medicine and not be considered an allergy. Some medicines you take at meal time and some you can only have like a soda cracker and some water. Or you may have to try a different medicine. Good luck.

 
Old 05-13-2008, 03:07 AM   #3
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

Hi flowergirl,

Am in the midst of a sinus infection, thus the early am hour...am still having computer problems so will make this brief.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
Is it normal for skin problems from the effects of medications to persist
Yes...because skin problems can be side effects or they can be allergic reactions....and remember my friend whose allergic reaction took 3 months to go away after discoing the hctz?

Although any med can cause a side effect/an allergic reaction, diuretics are common culprits and if I recall you are taking hct and spiro, right? Hct is known to cause a butterfly rash on the face, and other various rashes (purple, raised bumps, blisters, etc) but it also can cause photosensitivity which might explain the v shaped rash on your neck and upper chest, especially if you are doing a little gardening now and then...these rashes can come and go and things like sunlight, alcohol, meds, and otc's can increase or decrease their intensity and duration.

Rashes from diuretics may also be an indication of an overdose...dizziness and nausea are also symptoms of a med overdose (I experienced these for 3 weeks when taking hct)---given your pressures, this might very well be the case with you. Check your package inserts, and do some additional reading about the skin rashes and the two diuretics you take...although the ccb may be contributing to your problems, the diuretics are often the first meds to evaluate.

Take care...think of you often.

Bethsheba

 
Old 05-13-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

FG,

My 2nd HBP expert said that he has had patients who have been on HCTZ for 15 yrs have an allergic reaction. The V-neck rash is probably for the beta blocker-that could easily come & go depending on how much sun you get & what time of day you get it.

I'm in the same boat with my rashes. I finally gave in an put steriod cream on them last week. Alcohol (70&#37 works most of the time. Mine get infected from the scratching. I'm trying to curb that. I have no where to go as far as changing meds so I'm trying to hang in there. I think I will finally go in & get a biopsy of the lesions.

I don't know what to think of your low b/p. My most dramatic episode was from having a local anesthetic (dental). It lasted two wks & I had to cut my high dose of meds in half. Have you started anything new as far as food, supplements? Do you react to pollen etc. I know from my kids allergics that during pollen season they are more likely to have problems with other allergies. It is kind of an overload on the system. Some foods etc that they could normally tolerate would cause problems during that time table. Fam

 
Old 05-13-2008, 09:51 AM   #5
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

Hi,
Sorry to hear about your sinus infection! I hope you will feel better soon.

Because skin rashes are a VERY common side effect of many medications, I don't think anything can be done to stop them from ocurring (except stopping the medication). I am trying very hard not to let this bother me too much. It does! I have an excellent dermatology book recommended by Fam with photos of many skin disorders. I tried locating my particular type of rash in it. My skin has always been sensitive and it does not take kindly to all these chemicals my regimen consists of. I will try not to use my facial cream (always the same one) for a while and see if that helps.

I did some reading this morning (about CCBs again) and their ability to cause a rapid and substantial drop in blood pressure in some people. This, of course, could be very dangerous and put some people (especially with heart disease) at risk for stroke or a heart attack. They say it is mostly the short-acting CCBs that do this. Mine is long-acting. It is possible that this drug is metabolized differently and results in a greater plasma concentration, lowering my blood pressure more than the previous one. Perhaps I need to take only a reduced dose ONCE daily to achieve the same blood lowering effect without becoming hypotensive. That would not be such a bad thing! I felt great this morning, with blood pressure reading 134/73 and 128/81 on awakening (no evening meds taken).
I will read the package inserts - no, forget it. We do not get them here, just the bare-bones pharmacy printouts. Those are not very helpful. I will do some reading in the PDR instead. Thank you for your post!

flowergirl

 
Old 05-13-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

Ann,

you are right. An allergic reaction would not be localized and in the shape of the shirt - it's more like an exposure sensitivity. Heck, (I just thought of it), it could be the UV protection I am sensitive to!!!! I guess I'll try not using any next time I go out. That might not be such a good thing, either.
I did have a true full-blown allergic reaction to both Micardis and Diovan, which included the rash. As you pointed out, it is usually all over the body. Thank you for your help!

flowergirl

 
Old 05-13-2008, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

Probably no help to you... But I have painful flushing (feels like a bad sunburn) due to ANS (autonomic nervous system) issues. I get it across my face, neck, and chest, and have had patches of it on my legs.

Your med would affect the ANS, so maybe that is the source of your flushing. This wouldn't be an allergic reaction in that case, but your body mistakenly dilating blood vessels it shouldn't.

 
Old 05-13-2008, 10:44 AM   #8
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

Fam,

Quote:
My 2nd HBP expert said that he has had patients who have been on HCTZ for 15 yrs have an allergic reaction.
T'hat is basically what the pharmacist told me yesterday. Our body chemistry changes as we age. We might become less tolerant of certain compounds than we were when younger.

Quote:
I finally gave in an put steriod cream on them last week. Alcohol (70%) works most of the time.
I have been using the OTC hydrocortizone cream. The only reason for that is because the rash gets unbearably itchy at times and the cream relieves the itching. I wake up scratching myself sometimes at night. How does alcohol help??? (If you don't drink it, that is!) Do you mean you rub it on? I'd have to go to work smelling of booze!!!

Quote:
Have you started anything new as far as food, supplements? Do you react to pollen etc.
The only new thing that I can think of, as mentioned in a previous post, is the suntan lotion. I have only used it a couple of times. It's some stuff in an aerosol spray which, when sprayed on the skin, thickens into a lotion of sorts.
I used to have allergies to pollen every April. This ended some years ago. I know what pollen allergies feel like - a cold, with congestion, a runny nose and VERY runny eyes. I think I can eliminate that. As for the supplements, I have not taken any in two days now - including my daily vitamin. I have only taken my meds in somewhat reduced doses. I had the dizziness not long ago at work most of the day - bet you my blood pressure fell too low. All seems to be fine now. I think I have to monitor my blood pressure more closely and watch the meds. As Beth suggested, it's probably time for a reduction in my medication. I should ask the doctor when I see her if I could switch back to the other CCB. The pharmacist told me I should watch that one especially and suggested I leave the pills she had just dispensed there. (I didn't.)

flowergirl

 
Old 05-13-2008, 10:58 AM   #9
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

aether,

Quote:
But I have painful flushing (feels like a bad sunburn) due to ANS (autonomic nervous system) issues. I get it across my face, neck, and chest, and have had patches of it on my legs.
Your med would affect the ANS, so maybe that is the source of your flushing. This wouldn't be an allergic reaction in that case, but your body mistakenly dilating blood vessels it shouldn't
I noticed when checking my face closely that the redness is more prominent around some veins in some areas. My face looks too pale now - too much concealer! I was already thinking that perhaps my blood vessels were somehow acting up or getting irritated - so thank you for pointing this out to me!!! I will do some reading about this topic. That could well be the reason for my problem. The pharmacist called my meds a toxic cocktail. She was right, of course. It is. How long have you had the flushing? Do you just live with it? By the way, the CCBs have BOTH flushing and a rash listed as side-effects.

FG

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 05-13-2008 at 10:58 AM.

 
Old 05-13-2008, 11:27 AM   #10
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
How long have you had the flushing? Do you just live with it? By the way, the CCBs have BOTH flushing and a rash listed as side-effects.
It's a more recent symptom... 4-5 months? (wow, time flies!) I've only had the more persistent tachycardia for maybe 8 or 9 months so I'm sure it's just linked to my ANS getting more out of whack. I just wait for it to pass and try not to let anything touch the affected area. Cold water helps a little, or at least it feels nice. lol

Can you actually feel the heat rising off the flushed areas? If so it might be best not to even have make up on when your face is flushed, as it will help hold some of the heat in and make it feel worse. I have to wash any off if the flushing starts.

 
Old 05-13-2008, 01:06 PM   #11
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

FG,

I can't wear any sunscreens because I get terrible rashes so I avoid going out 10am -3pm when the sun rays are the most harmful.

Crisco works great for a facial & neck cream. I have been using it for years after hearing a 90 yr lady with beautiful skin say that is all she has used for years. It needs to be put on right after one's face is washed with a hot wet washcloth. The I wipe off the excess cream.

I use 70 % rubbing alcohol that you can get at any walmart etc. There won't be any lingering smell. I pour some on a washcloth & pat it on the skin. It calms down the itching & costs a lot less than the benedryl creams. Sometimes I wear white cotton cosmetic gloves to bed to avoid scratching. That's also a good time for putting vaseline on my dry hands. Vaseline is the best treatment for ezema that I have on my hands. Again it works best if one's hands are damp so the moisture gets trapped in with the vaseline. Fam

Last edited by famnd; 05-13-2008 at 01:07 PM.

 
Old 05-13-2008, 08:12 PM   #12
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

aether,

I read some of the stuff relating to ANS, such as stimulation of muscarinic receptors and their correlation to the activities of parasympathetic nervous system. I think one needs to start at the beginning in order to fully comprehend how things work.

Quote:
Can you actually feel the heat rising off the flushed areas? If so it might be best not to even have make up on when your face is flushed, as it will help hold some of the heat in and make it feel worse. I have to wash any off if the flushing starts
I don't feel any heat. Just tightness of the skin. Perhaps a bit of puffiness at times under the eyes and on the cheeks. This gets in my line of vision and bugs me. Sometimes my face itches, just like the neck. I can control the urge to scratch though - it's my face! I think you are right about the makeup cutting off the air. In any case, it does not do much good. I met a couple of friends for coffee earlier. Within a couple of minutes one of them asked what was wrong with my face. So the makeup does not help much. I should just go without it and say it's SUNBURN if anyone asks. Thank goodness it looks like it.

flowergirl

 
Old 05-13-2008, 08:32 PM   #13
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

Fam,

thank you for your helpful tips. I heard about the cream/vaseline/lotion tip just recently when having pedicure. The same technique you described can be used on the heels on the rough skin. It has to be softened first in the bath, then the cream is applied, then the socks - just before bedtime. I have a tube of expensive cream for that purpose, which is supposed to be really good. It sure looks and feels like vasoline!!! Next time I'll just buy a jar of vasoline. Probably the same thing.

I like the idea of wearing gloves to bed when the rash gets really itchy - I wouldn't have thought of that! I'll make sure to pick up a bottle of rubbing alcohol next time I am at that store and keep it on hand for future use. I didn't know it could be used on rash - I thought rubbing alcohol was for sore muscles only. It's too bad we have to deal with these unpleasant side effects - I guess it is a relatively small price to pay for maintaining good blood pressure levels.

P.S. I just took my blood pressure (10:00 p.m.) and it is 104/58 and 105/62, respectively. So, no evening meds for me again. I am starting to be concerned - why such low readings on fewer meds all of a sudden? Any ideas? The diastolic seems to be affected more. Could these blood pressure variations be related to the rash? What else might have triggered them? I hope my blood pressure doesn't drop much lower while I sleep. I don't feel safe when that happens.

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 05-13-2008 at 11:18 PM. Reason: Adding P.S.

 
Old 05-14-2008, 05:37 PM   #14
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
Could these blood pressure variations be related to the rash?
histamine can cause hypotension

 
Old 05-14-2008, 06:46 PM   #15
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Re: Persistent skin reactions?

Oh, wow! Histamine can produce hypotension? I know if one has an anaphylactic reaction, the bp drops, but what about just having excess histamine released by your body because of some kind of mild allergic reaction?

I've been having chronic urticaria since the beginning of February. Thinking it might be a reaction to one of the 3 antihypertensives I'm on, I began by putting 1 at a time on hold for several weeks. While doing this, I began monitoring my blood pressure just to be on the safe side.

Now 4 months into my urticaria, I've eliminated any of the bp medications as a cause. However, my bp is lower than it's ever been (average 100/72) and I've cut my bp meds in half. Prior to this, my bp has been very difficult to control.

Now I'm wondering if the low bp readings are a result of whatever reaction I'm having, although the symptoms of that are lessening.

Here I am thinking I might have been overmedicated on BP meds when my low readings might well be the result of this chronic idiopathic itching and urticaria.

Wondering????

Last edited by Edelweiss; 05-14-2008 at 09:19 PM.

 
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