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Suggest treatment for large boil on thigh

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15761 Questions

Posted on Mon, 1 Sep 2014 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: I have a boil on my inner thigh. It was very large (ping pong ball) and doctor lanced it last week. Yesterday, it swelled up again and got painful again. It popped during last night while I was sleeping and is draining blood tinged pus. I am already on bactrim for it. Just want to know how to care for it now so it won't come back in another week.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 45 minutes later
Brief Answer:
may need re incision

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

The heat, moisture and friction that can occur in between the thighs increase the chance of these and other infections (such as fungal infection).

In addition to the abscess ( collection of pus) being incised, it may have needed to be keep open for a few days. This is done by inserting a small amount of guaze into the incision then applying a dressing.
The reason for keeping it open is to allow any discharge that did not initially come out to continue to drain. If this is not allowed, especially in so large an abscess, it will definitely recollect.

Even though it would have initially drained, pockets of pus would have remained.

It is very possible that it may need incising again especially since it is evident that pus remained.
The definitive treatment of any abscess is incision and drainage.

If revisiting the doctor and having it reassessed is not an option, then you can try the following at home to see if it would help it to heal.

The area can be cleaned at least once daily with an anti septic solution such as bethadine or hydrogen peroxide.
Obtain dressings from your local pharmacy, these would absorb any discharge and would also prevent friction. When you apply the dressing, you can put magnesium sulphate paste on the guaze.
This can be done at least once daily, if you have a lot of discharge, it may need to be done more often.

Magnesium sulphate paste encourages drainage of secretions and may help any residual pus to come out.

Continue the antibiotics.

If there is no resolution, it may need incision and drainage as mentioned above.

I hope this helps,feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Are there any side effects with the magnesium sulfate?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 13 minutes later
Brief Answer:
not commonly

Detailed Answer:

It is a cream that is applied over the area, it is not used orally.

In terms of possible effects, it can be rarely associated with mild skin irritation of the area but this does not occur commonly.

Please feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 10 minutes later
Just went ti the pharmacy. They did not have magnesium sulphate topical. The pharmacist recommended ichthammol ointment. Will that work as well? Thanks so much for your help .
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 9 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
This can be used as well.

remember, if there is no resolution with home treatment, it is likely it needs to re incised.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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