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Smooth lump on back, sore, painful, grown significantly, discharge with foul smell. What is it likely to be?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 436 Questions
I'm a 26 yr old female and I've had a smooth lump on my back for over three years but thought nothing of it. Yesterday it started becoming very sore and is now quite painful. Having felt it it seems to have grown significantly (from a pea to a 50p) but is uneven under the surface. There has been some discharge from it, which doesnt smell good at all. What is it likely to be and what should I do?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Radhika 29 minutes later
Thanks for the query.

A lump on back is not a common occurrence and needless to say should never be ignored.
There are many possible causes for it which include:
•     Skin cysts
•     Cherryangioma
•     Dermatofibromas
•     Epidermoid cysts
•     Folliculitis
•     Keratoacanthoma
•     Keratosis pilaris
•     Lipomas
•     Neurofibromas.

In your case, the most probable cause of the lump could be a cyst. However, the exact nature of the lump can only be determined by a physical exam and other investigations like an ultrasound and fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC).
Cysts are an unnatural growth that branch out as lumps under skin and appear on the skin surface. It looks like a sac and is filled with either gas, pus, liquid or other semi solid material which could be painful or not at all.

There are several reasons for the growth of a cyst which vary from infections, genetically inherited conditions, tumors, obstruction in the flow of bodily fluid or other defects.
Cysts usually do not cause pain unless they rupture or become infected or inflamed. Some cysts disappear on their own without treatment. Other cysts may need to be drained.
I would suggest the following:
•     Consult your prescribe appropriate therapy. Drainage of the cyst may be required.
•     You will need to XXXXXXX a Physician who will drain the cyst if it is incompletely drained under aseptic conditions.
•     You can apply Povidine iodine ointment over the area and cover the area with a sterile bandage.
•     Clean the area frequently with an antiseptic solution like dettol.
I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.
I will be available for follow up queries, if any.

Wishing you good health.


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