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Have reoccurring pus filled lump on back. On antibiotic. What could be this?

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Practicing since : 2003
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my friend has this reoccuring lump on her back for over 5yrs, started out as a big pimple. drains pus, heals and comes back later. she is 30yrs old. This time, its oozing foul smelling pus non-stop. there is pain that shoots down the arm and hurts like a fresh wound. The area is still hard and reddened,. she is on antibiotics. what is this?
Posted Mon, 17 Dec 2012 in Lymphoma
Answered by Dr. Kruti 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.
I can understand your concern.

I would prefer having a look at this lump and then giving my opinion.

From your description it should either be a sebaceous cyst that its infected or it could be a furuncle, which is a bacterial infection of the skin. Both the conditions can be recurrent. The treatment would be a course of oral antibiotics.

In case you could post a picture here, it would be helpful . You have a feature to upload the image by yourself at the right side of the query page, please utilize that. Otherwise you can send the image to YYYY@YYYY , with the subject as "ATTN: Dr. Kruti".

Please let me know if I can address any other concerns for you.


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Follow-up: Have reoccurring pus filled lump on back. On antibiotic. What could be this? 4 hours later
Thanks for giving me an idea to what this is about.

Now, I can't post a pic because the person involved is outside the US.
What can be done to stop this completely? What is the 100% remedy to this and what kind of doctor should she see?
Answered by Dr. Kruti 15 hours later

It is unfortunate that you are unable to post a picture. Nevertheless she needs to see a dermatologist.

1. If it’s a sebaceous cyst, it can be excised surgically. This will minimize the recurrence.

2. If it’s a furuncle, then it has to be investigated as to why is it recurrent. Diabetes has to be ruled out. Also the puss should be sent for examination to rule out Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA).

Hope this helps Please let me know if I can address any other additional concerns for you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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