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Bump in armpit, oozed smelly pus. Is this a sign of lymphoma or cancer?

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Posted on Thu, 20 Sep 2012
Question: I have a pimple like bump in my left armpit which I squeezed until it popped. When it popped a thick smelly white puss came out several times. I squeezed puss out several times over the course of several days. Is this a sign of lymphoma or some other cancer? I get cysts under my skin all around my armpits regularly but most are too far under the skin to tell what comes out or if they pop under the skin. Most of the time the cysts are not in my armpits but are around them. I tend to obsess and squeez them a lot and they get bigger but usually go away without treatment. Thank you.
Also, when I popped the cyst puss came out of more than one pore in the immediate area unlike with a pimple. The puss is very thick and white and has a foul odor. I uploaded a picture. It is very red and gets larger because I tend to ne neurotic and squeeze it all day out of worry. This often happens with the other cysts I've had under my arm but not in my armpit. Also, there is a little skin tag in same area as the pimple. Could that mean anything. I tend to get skin tags under my arms and my "legpits" if that's a word. Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. P V S Prasad (4 hours later)
hello
thanks for posting your query.
From the history it seems that you suffer from acne inversa.
this is nothing but acne like disease which occurs in the apocrine gland which is present in the arm pit.
apocrine gland is like oil producing gland on the face but plays a role in sexual stimulation.
infection in this gland becomes chronic and recurrent.
You have a lot of drugs to control this infection. The drugs range from doxicycline to isotretinoin.
You can consult your doctor for starting one of these.
squeezing the nodule produces delay in healing and scar formation when it heals. So, please avoid.
Foul odor is due to apocrine secretion.
skin tag may be due to obesity. you have to check your weight and skin tags may be removed by dermatologists by simple procedure like cautery.
I hope that I made myself clear. If you have any doubts in my answer feel free to ask me.
Have a good day
Prasad PVS
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. P V S Prasad (8 hours later)
Dear Dr. XXXXXXX

Thank you very much for the information. I'm so glad I don't have cancer. The only issue now is that if I ever did develop some other condition in the area I would take it to be acne inversa. Nevertheless your response really put my mind at ease. And the skin tags are definitely from being overweight but Ive actually lost over 100 lbs over the past year through diet and exercise and am almost at my ideal weight. Healthcare Magic is a great service and I really appreciate your help.

Best regards, XXXXXXX
Hello again,

I looked at Wikipedia and it said acne inversa is actually very serious. Am I likely to develop debilitating symptoms or cancer? The information I read said the drugs used to treat the disorder do not work well. Is that true? I have hypothyroidism which can lead to Croan's disease. I have been tested but should I get tested again for Croan's.

Also, will your diagnosis make this a preexisting condition as I currently do not have insurance.

Thank you, XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. P V S Prasad (1 hour later)
hello
I am very happy to see your first reply, but subsequently you should have got confused by referring to internet.
Every disease can be associated with so many conditions. I view every disease as a mirror of XXXXXXX disease.
But it need not be in every patient. I had successfully treated acne inversa with isotretinoin and the patients are very grateful to me.
Please do not think that you must always have XXXXXXX problem. it is only for the doctors to suspect.
have a good day
Prasad PVS
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. P V S Prasad (8 hours later)
Hello again,

I have a few more brief questions: Is acne inversa ever painless? Because the cysts are painless unless I pop them or squeezee them a lot.

Also, I made an appointment with a dermatologist, but I'm wondering how it's determined if I have acne inversa or just clogged pores. Are getting cysts in the same spots an indicator.

Finally I'm wondering if getting advise from a doctor online makes this a preexisting condition as I'm between jobs and insurance policies.

Thanks so much for your help.

Best regards, XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. P V S Prasad (27 hours later)
Hi and thanks again,

1. Acne inversa produces inflammatory changes which are responsible for surrounding skin changes. Pain though is an usual accompanying symptoms, the amount of pain felt varies with the amount of pus and tolerance.

2. I am glad you made an appointment with a doctor. Acne inversa is diagnosed clinically.

3. I do not feel online information makes it a pre-existing condition. So I don't think insurance will be an issue.

Hope this answers all your queries. Let me know if you have other concerns.
If all your queries are answered, please close this discussion.

Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. P V S Prasad

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Practicing since :1980

Answered : 254 Questions

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Bump in armpit, oozed smelly pus. Is this a sign of lymphoma or cancer?

hello
thanks for posting your query.
From the history it seems that you suffer from acne inversa.
this is nothing but acne like disease which occurs in the apocrine gland which is present in the arm pit.
apocrine gland is like oil producing gland on the face but plays a role in sexual stimulation.
infection in this gland becomes chronic and recurrent.
You have a lot of drugs to control this infection. The drugs range from doxicycline to isotretinoin.
You can consult your doctor for starting one of these.
squeezing the nodule produces delay in healing and scar formation when it heals. So, please avoid.
Foul odor is due to apocrine secretion.
skin tag may be due to obesity. you have to check your weight and skin tags may be removed by dermatologists by simple procedure like cautery.
I hope that I made myself clear. If you have any doubts in my answer feel free to ask me.
Have a good day
Prasad PVS