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Drup user, developed abscess, red, not feverish. Suggestions?

I m 28 years old- I m an iv drug user. I ve always used clean new needles but a few days ago I developed an abscess . I ve never had anything like this and I m so scared. I CAN T go to the hospital bc if my family found out, I d lose everything. I ve kept this a secret for a year, not a soul in the world knows. I m so ashamed. I ve been keeping heat on it and it helps. A white head formed and I was able to squeeze some puss out, and then after about an hour it closed up and I wasn t able to get anything else out of it. If I go to the er will they put me on iv antibiotics? I m asking this bc I don t have track marks (I m very good at hiding it) and I thought if I absolutely had to go- if they put an iv in they ll know for sure I m an iv drug user. Or will they just lance it with a little lidocaine and call it a day? I ve read some stories where people need to be admitted. That s not an option for me. The abscess is about 2 in raised and on my fore arm so it is sooo noticeable. It s red and sore. I have no red streaks and am not feverish. My lymph nodes under my arm pit on that same arm started to be sore last night. I ve been taking flagyl as directed also (I had it left over from something I never took it for). Can I lance it myself? There is no longer a white head.
Asked On : Thu, 7 Mar 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  85
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

An abcess which is oozing pus is a matter of serious concern and needs immediate medical attention because there is a risk of a infection spreading through the bloodstream, leading on to potentially dangerous consequences. Therefore, if treatment is taken quickly, it will save you a lot of trouble later on. Treatment usually involves draining of the abcess, anti-inflamatory medication, antibiotics and local measures to reduce the swelling.

The decision whether you will need iv antibiotics or not or whether the abcess needs to be drained or not can be made only after a physical examination. So, I would strongly recommend that you get your arm examined by a doctor and take proper medical treatment.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Sat, 9 Mar 2013
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