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Puss filled pimple on the arm. Need immediate medical attention?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2396 Questions
I had a what looked like a pimple on my arm about a week ago and I tried to pop it. Nothing really happened and now 6 days later, at the exact spot, I have what looks like a big cold sore that has a red area around it and it has started to leak a light to dark brown puss. Is this staff or something that needs medical attention or is just something I need to keep clean and covered?
Posted Tue, 17 Apr 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thanks for the query.

Your question is a good one and I will try and provide some good information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

This is something you should certainly keep clean and overed as you stated. Also, I recommend that yoou sit in a bath and soak the area for 20 minutes twice per day for the next few days. This will facilitate the opening of your pores and the drainage of some of the puss from the area./ Usually this will resolve on its own and your immune system will eliminate any bacteria in the wound.

However, a few things to watch for. One is expanding area of redness or expansion of swelling without drainage. This is a signal of a deeper infection that will need antibiotics. Also if you develop systemic symptoms of fever or chills this is something that you should be seen for.

For now - observe and keep things clean as I have said but keep the radar on for potential changes as I have stated as well.

I thank you again for the query. I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them. Please accept this answer if you find my recommendations to be adquate.


Dr. Galamaga

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