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dermdoc19, Dermatologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 4124
Experience:  30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
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I have developed painful itchy red bumps on my lower abdomen

Customer Question

I have developed painful itchy red bumps on my lower abdomen and groin area. One of them on my lower abs is quite inflamed, with a light pink circle around it. It has a small scab and when I squeezed it a small amount of pus came out. I have 5 bumps altogether. I am also a diabetic and my blood sugar has been higher lately although I am working on bringing it down. I have also not been sleeping well for the last few weeks.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 5 years ago.
Good evening
Would it be possible to forward a photograph of the rash? To do so, you would click on the paper clip icon to upload. Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
please give me a few moments.
Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 5 years ago.
Sure. Take your time.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the photograph.
This appears to be furunculosis. This is when the hair follicles become infected. This is usually caused by staphylococcus aureus. Being diabetic predisposes you to this type of infection, besides yeast.
My recommendation would be for your physician to place you on an antibiotic such as Omnicef 300 mg. twice a day ( Cefdinir). Of course, this would require a prescription. I would continue the Bacitracin to the lesions twice a day. I would also cleanse the area with Hibiclens 4 % wash ( Ciclohexadine gluconate). This is OTC. Be sure to wash off well. This can be done for the present problem and as a preventive so that you do not break out in the future.As a preventive: use this in the groin twice a week. Bleach baths will also help: 1/2 cup of bleach in a tub when you bath for the last FIVE minutes. Again, wash off well. Use this also as a preventive measure. Using bleach baths and washes instead of an oral antibiotic well help kill bacteria without causing resistance and the over-growth of yeast ( Candida).
Happy to answer further questions or clarify any of the above.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Is this contagious?
Also is the antibiotic absolutely necessary? I do not have insurance.

Assuming I use the Hibiclens and Bleach baths, how long will this take to clear up?

Also is this furunculosis yeast related or is it strictly a staph infection? The reason I'm asking this is that I bought an herbal antifungal wash.


Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 5 years ago.
Contagious to an extent. About 20-25% of people carry staph on them at all times. But not contagious in the sense of chicken pox might be.
You can try the above for a few days but this ultimately may need an oral antibiotic.
This appears to be a furuncolosis. But staph is not the only bacteria that causes such cases.
To my eye this does not appear to be related to yeast.
dermdoc19 and other Dermatology Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 5 years ago.
I will schedule a follow up in 5 days to see how you are doing.
dermdoc19 and other Dermatology Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 5 years ago.
How are you doing? Any questions.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Dr Oppenheim-

I did go to a dermotologist and she put me on a 5 day Z pack along with Alcortin A skin cream (1% iodoquinol - 2% hydrocortisone acetate wht Aloe). She said if it didn't work call her and she would give me something stronger. It does seem a bit better (today is day 2) but still hurts and seems to have pus in the red spots. Took 2 bleach baths and bought the cleanser you recommended. Bothe helped a lot. The dermo I saw said the infection could be from almost anything and may not be related to the diabetes. I feel that my immune system was down, I had friends in town and did not adhere to my usual (low carb) diet. Blood sugar went up= infection sets in. It is usually a yeast infection, this is the first time with this (and I hope it is the last time). Any recomendations you have for preventing this again would be appreciated.

Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. Glad that you are doing better. I would just recommend the bleach baths and HIbiclens cleansing twice a week as you are doing. Patients with diabetes have not only an increased problem with Candida but also superficial skin infections. Good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hi Doctor - is there a chance this could be MRSA? One of the spots is now full of pus and hurts a lot. The other 2 are getting better. I am on Z pack 5 day. Am worried.
Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 5 years ago.
MRSA is really nothing more than the usual staph infection which is resistant to the commonly used bacteria . Most cases are cured with Doxycycline, Clindamycin or Bactrim. If your spots do not go away after the course of Zithromax, you certainly could have MRSA. The pain you describe would be consistent with that since most of the time the lesions of MRSA tend to be painful. The other treatments I mentioned such as the bleach baths are part of the standard of care for MRSA, so I would recommend continuing them. Don't worry though, Community acquired MRSA is usually easily treated as long as the physician and patient recognize the possibility.