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Painful, large bump on arm. No pus. What to do?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 466 Questions
hi i woke up on day to find a large bump on my arm very pain ful.i soke my arm in water the lump got bigger and days later i pick it but no puss comes out. it stills hurts bad and swelling went down some but still big and hurts bad and it is hard.
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Mitaly 4 hours later

Thanks for posting your query

Two possibilities are there for this type of painful bump. These are:

1)Boil or abscess: It generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm and hard. Eventually, the center of the abscess softens and becomes filled with pus.

For such a bump, apply warm compresses and keep the area clean with topical antiseptics. Drainage is done only when it becomes soft and forms a head. Till then you can apply a topical antibiotic cream like Neosporin or Bactroban after consulting your doctor. You can also take some over the counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen and oral antibiotics after a doctor’s prescription.

2) The second possibility is of an infected and inflamed cyst which is mostly painless but can become painful when infected. Treatment includes topical and oral antibiotics and surgical incision and drainage.

If it does not subside even after 3 days then a clinical examination would be required.Consider visiting a Physician for evaluation.

Hope this answers your query.I will be available for follow up query if any.

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