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dermdoc19
dermdoc19, Dermatologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 3980
Experience:  30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
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How can i get rid of recurrent boils under my arms

Customer Question

How can i get rid of recurrent boils under my arms?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 3 years ago.

dermdoc19 :

Hello

dermdoc19 :

How long have you had them? Do you have boils ano other place?

dermdoc19 :

If you have other boils in places such as the groin, breasts and ear region this may be Hidradenitis Suppuritiva.

Customer :

Hi. I have had them 20 yrs. I don't get too much in my groin area, but sometimes i do. but other than that its just under my arms

dermdoc19 :

Have you seen a physician about them? Are you overweight? Diabetes? Did you have a problem with acne or a scalp issue?

Customer :

i have seen family practitioners and a dermatologist and they both just gave me antibiotics that didn't work. i'm a lil overweight but not too much, no diabetes, no acne, and no scalp issues (although i do get pimples on my scalp quite often)

dermdoc19 :

What did the dermatologist tell you it was?

Customer :

he told me it was infection of the hair follicles i think

Customer :

actually i don't quite remember what he told me...

dermdoc19 :

That sounds realistic. It might be a folliculitis.

Customer :

yeah cause i don't get them on my breasts, only places w/ hair

Customer :

what do u suggest i do

Customer :

i am very depressed about it. its affecting my social life...

dermdoc19 :

Which would be an infection of the hair follicles. Treatment for this would be an oral antibiotic such as Tetracycline. I also like patients to use Hibiclens Wash 4%, in the groin, armpits and Bactroban in the nostril once a night for two weeks. Bleach baths are helpful. 1/2 cup of bleach into a half tub for the last five minutes of hour bath.

dermdoc19 :

Use an antibacterial soap such as Lever 2000 or Safeguard.

Customer :

i don't get them in my nostrils

Customer :

what if i can't take baths?

dermdoc19 :

To go over the other possibility of Hidradenitis since this diagnosis can be missed. If you develop painful, pus-filled bumps in your armpits,under your breasts or groin or between your thighs, where the skin rubs together. You can also develop pea-sized lumps just under the surface of the skin and become red, swollen and painful. If you look carefully and see blackhead type lesions, or little openings, this might be HS

dermdoc19 :

No, I didn't think you got them in the nostrils. The idea is to cut down on the bacteria that causes folliculitis. The nostrils can be a carrier for bacteria as can the armpits and groin. That is why the Hibiclens is used there.

dermdoc19 :

If you don't take baths you can use a product called Aurstat and wash with that. where you are prone to develop the boils.

Customer :

i read that its not safe to use hibiclens on groin area, is that true?

Customer :

also, what drugs falls into the tetracycline catergory?

Customer :

where can i buy aurstat?

dermdoc19 :

I had never heard anything about being unsafe. Phisoderm or Hibiclens Wash 4%. You would cleanse with it and not leave it on.

dermdoc19 :

Aurstat is made by Onset Therapeutics. I am not sure if it is OTC or not.

dermdoc19 :

Tetracycline is really considered in its own class along with Minocycline and Doxycycline.

Customer :

i think i've tried doxycycline but it didn't really work

dermdoc19 :

If it did not work either the dose was too low or you should be on a different class of drug. Another reason it may not work would be if you have HS since antibiotics are not as effective for HS as they are for folliculitis.

Customer :

what do i do 4 hs?

Customer :

well, if it might be HS

Customer :

i read there is no cure for hs? but what could i do to treat the boils?

dermdoc19 :

Some of the same methods I mentioned for folliculitis. Omnicef works better than the Tetracyclines or Doxycycline. Avoid sweating if you can. Avoid tight, synthetic clothing around the affected areas. Topical clindamycin. There are some other treatments but they are more intensive: we have found laser hair removal helpful; photodynamic therapy; and there was a report of Botox. Severe cases need Accutane and/or surgery.

Customer :

ok but do u know of any type of cream, ointment, spray, something that will make the boils go away fast?

Customer :

a friend used to get boils under her arms and she told me about natural crystal deoderant and i started using it, but she said it took her 6 mo. to totally get rid of the boils

Customer :

do u think that will work?

dermdoc19 :

Sorry there is nothing topical that works that well...even Bactroban and Altabax ointment, which are the most effective topical antibiotic by far. Steroid injections are the only thing that works quickly. Perhaps the Zeno device, but that has to be used immediately, even before the boil develops.

dermdoc19 :

Never heard of a deodorant curing HS.

dermdoc19 :

Or folliculitis.

Customer :

ok. thanks for all ur help today!

Customer :

i bought some hibiclens not too long ago. still have not used it yet tho.

Customer :

which is more strong bactroban or altabax?

dermdoc19 :

Probably Altabax.

Customer :

guess i will try that. ty...

Customer :

wells, back to my gaming...lol

Customer :

thank you for ur time.

Customer :

do i just exit window? or what

Customer :

bye.

dermdoc19 :

Good luck

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Dermatologist
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30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology