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Have recurring problem of fluid filled bumps on body. Appears as a red patch and becomes a pea sized lump. Sensitive to touch. What to do?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 871 Questions
I have a recurring problem of fluid filled bumps in various places on my body. The areas that they have occurred are armpit, back, breast, legs, and stomach. I have one to two at a time. The effected area starts as a nickel sized red patch that is sensitive to the touch. It then progresses to a hard pea sized to golf ball sized bump with a crusty head. It then will eventually explode and leak thick yellow pus in large quantities. When the bumps are filled with pus, it hurts beyond belief. What should I do?
Posted Wed, 13 Nov 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Recurrent Skin Abscesses

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for choosing Health care magic as the platform for your query.

I understand your pain and concern regarding these recurrent abscesses which can be very painful and annoying.

An abscess is a tender mass covered with pink to red skin and filled with pus and debris.
When these abscesses recur again and again in various parts of the body, it is termed as Recurrent Superficial abscesses.
This infection is usually caused by a bacteria called staphylococcus. This bacteria easily gets colonized in humans and starts causing recurrent infection.

These abscesses are treated with incision and drainage and appropriate antibiotics with pain killers.

There are quite a few conditions which present with recurrent abscesses.
I want to rule out a few in your case so that we can come to a definitive diagnosis.

1. Patients suffering from chronic eczema, who have repeated trauma and have staphylococcal colonization commonly present with this disease.
2. Diabetes mellitus (high sugar levels facilitate Staphylococcus colonization)
3. Hidradenitis suppurativa - This condition is common in females and involves sweat gland bearing skin of armpits, perineum and groin. This is mainly due to bad personal hygiene, tight clothes, obesity and sometimes due to deodrants.

I would like to suggest the following investigations which will help confirm the diagnosis:
1. Complete blood count
2. Blood sugar levels to rule out diabetes
3. Nasopharyngeal swab screening to rule out MRSA colonization

I suggest you get these tests done and then get in touch with your GP for effective management and treatment.

This condition is treatable once the exact cause is found.

I hope I have answered your query satisfactorily.


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