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Have dime sized, swollen dark area under skin of chest area. Noticed blood and pus during shower. What can be done?

Dec 2013
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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 4127 Questions
I have a dime sized, swollen dark area under my skin on the right side of my chest. It broke open in the shower and a little bit of blood and pus came out. There is now a dark hole there and it appears that the tissue in the hole is black as if it were dead tissue. I tried to research this on my own and could only come up with a boil but am not sure. I am quite worried. I am in fairly good health. I could use to lose about 30 pounds but am not obese. I am a 34 year old white male and take a thorough shower every day, 7 days a week. I am not sick nor do I have any symptoms of being sick. I am at a loss on what this could be but I am worried and quite grossed out to be honest. I have never experienced this before. Any ideas before I go to the doctor? Thank you.

Posted Mon, 5 Aug 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 25 minutes later

Welcome and thanks for posting your query to XXXXXXX

I can understand your concern for the dime sized dark area over the right side of chest region. It is sometimes really distressing for anyone to have anything unusual over body.

Now after reading your query the first possibility I can make out is of simply “Folliculitis” or simply we say "boil".

Folliculitis is an inflammation or infection of the hair root with oil gland at any hairy area. As we know that our chest area have lot of coarse hair so there is always a chance of infection of hair root at this area due to in-growth of the hair.

It can further be aggravated by heat and humidity with sweating over this area. It is generally painful to begin with or has a feeling of discomfort. It generally begins as reddish dot and then can enlarge later on to form a whitish pimple kind of lesion. There may be blackish to brownish scab kind of thing present during healing phase. Generally it is present for 1-2 weeks of period with sensation of mild to moderate pain or irritation of variable nature.

As per your query you have mentioned that tissue in the hole is black as if it were dead tissue so it appears to be in healing phase. The only concern is of the size of the lesion winch is slightly larger than usual.

Now in your query you have not mentioned the exact time since the bump is present and any discomfort over it.

For the close possibility of the problem it would be better if you can upload a close picture of the area with good resolution. For that you have a feature to upload images by yourself at the right side of the query page, please utilize that so that I can answer your further queries. Or else, you can send as an attachment to YYYY@YYYY with the subject as "Attn: Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia). I hope this feature will help us better in resolving your problem.

Otherwise also there are certain suggestions which are applicable in this condition:

- The most important thing you should do is to not touch, pinch, pop or squeeze the area by any means.

-Stay away from hot and humid climate.

-Take two times bath and maintain good hygiene.

-Wear cotton clothes.

- You can do cold or warm water compresses over the affected area.

I can be able to comment best once I receive the good resolution close photograph sent by you and the information regarding time period and any discomfort over the area.

I hope these information's will help you. If you have further queries I will be happy to help.

"Wish you good health"

Dr Sanjay Kumar Kanodia
MD (Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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