Lisinopril is a type of medication that is used to treat various types of circulatory problems, such as high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. This drug is one of a group of drugs referred to as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Some of the side effects commonly seen with lisinopril include headache, tiredness and a persistent cough. A much less common side effect of this medication is a rash, which can usually be treated symptomatically with topical creams and antihistamines to reduce itching.
If the onset of the lisinopril rash is sudden and severe, it may be a symptom of an allergic reaction to the drug. Other symptoms indicating this type of reaction include swelling of lips, face or throat, and trouble breathing. Reactions such as these can be life-threatening and should be treated as a medical emergency. Such problems are very rare, but if a rash is related to a serious allergic reaction it must be treated by a medical professional immediately.
Some relief from a lisinopril rash is often given by the application of topical creams and ointments containing hydrocortisone. These are usually widely available, and are generally inexpensive. Such creams will help to control any itch and inflammation that occurs as part of the rash. They should be applied as per the label instructions and used until the rash subsides.
It is best to avoid exposing a lisinopril rash to strong sunlight, as ultraviolet (UV) rays can act as an irritant and may cause the rash to get worse. Keep the rash covered when going outside to protect it from the sun. Avoid scratching the affected area, as a lisinopril rash could become infected if the skin is damaged by too much scratching. If it is difficult to stop scratching, keeping the fingernails cut very short can help minimize the damage done to the skin.
When washing, only mild soap should be used when a lisinopril rash is present. Harsh soaps may dry the skin and cause the rash to become increasingly itchy with dry, flaking skin. A bath with oatmeal in it may help to soothe the more troublesome aspects of the rash. If it continues to be bothersome, spreads or shows signs of becoming inflamed or infected, the only treatment for it may be to stop taking lisinopril. Once the medication is stopped, the rash will generally begin to shrink and will usually disappear within a few weeks.