Thyroid UK
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Swelling, itchy lower legs with rash

I'm 72 with long term hypothyroidism which I manage ok but have a wonky thermostat and can not stand the heat. With this recent bout of warm weather I have broken out in an itchy rash on my lower legs, my ankles have swollen and my elbows now seem to be swelling. I have no pain other than itching. Is this a symptom of my hypothyroidism? My gp has no answer and has prescribed antihistamines. I have not been bitten by a tick. Any clues please?

6 Replies


Pretibial myxoedema can be a symptom of hypothyroidism but it tends to affect the lower legs and I've not heard that it affects the arms.


Does it look anything like prickly heat (heat rash)- google prickly heat and legs and look at images. My mum gets this in hot weather.

Water retention (oedema) can also get worse in hot weather and pools in your ankles so make sure drinking more water, raise your legs when you can when sitting/lying down, reduce salt intake and keep moving to improve circulation. Again not usually so much in elbows but can happen everywhere I suppose?


Thanks for replying Saggyuk


It could be excema craquelee if your skin is cracked & itchy. I get this on my shins, but rarely since I started taking thyroid hormones.

I found the most helpful products were A-Derma or Avene oat based creams. Or, you could try soaking some oats in a cloth or sock, aqueezing, then applying the slimy oatmilk to your legs.


Thank you for taking the trouble to respond Leverette.

1 like

Thank you Clutter. It's now spread to my neck and back. Hoping the antihistamines will kick in soon.


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