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dermdoc19, Dermatologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 4124
Experience:  30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
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Painful red bumps under the arms

Resolved Question:

I have small painful red bumps under my arms. Some have a pretty large red area around them. I do not have flaky skin. Also, I have some small slightly painful and slightly itchy bumps along the sides of my body, and all over my lower back and butt. This all came about at the same time. Help!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 5 years ago.
dermdoc19 :

Good evening

dermdoc19 :

Would it be possible to forward a photograph?

dermdoc19 :

This would be very helpful?

dermdoc19 :

Do you have a history of skin problems?

<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:
<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:

No I do not have a history of skin problems. A long time ago I have an infected skin follicle under my arms, however, it didn't form else where and these dont seem to be cyst like, yet, anways. I broke out with this all today.

<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:
dermdoc19 :

Thank you for the photographs, they are very helpful. This appears to be a superficial folliculitis. This most likely is a bacterial folliculitis. Usually the eruption is abrupt as in your case. This can be spread by friction, trauma,and shaving. It helps to minimize heat, friction and occlusion. The latter would mean to wear loose clothing. I do not know what part of the country you are living in, but this might have been triggered by hot weather.Most cases of superficial folliculitis are caused by staph aureus, a common type of bacteria. Antibacterial soap and warm dressings will be helpful. I would also encourage bleach baths in which you put 1/2 cup of bleach into your bath for the last five minutes. Rinse off well to prevent irritation. Bactroban applied three times a day or Altabax applied twice a day for five days and Omnicef ( Cefdinir) 300 mg. twice a days is often used to treat this. These are all prescription items so I would encourage you to see your physician for treatment of this problem.

dermdoc19 :

Your physician may want to culture one of these small pustules. You may use Bacitracin in the meantime before seeing a physician but, in my opinion, the OTC topical antibiotics are not too effective and can lead to allergies.

dermdoc19 :

If this becomes recurrent, this may be due to carriage of staph in your arm pit or nose. For that reason Mupicinin intranasally is often used nightly for two weeks. Benzaclin gel can similarly be used in the arm pits nightly for two weeks. Razors should be changed frequently to avoid re-infection.

dermdoc19 :

This is for informational purposes and not to substitute for a physician one-on-one encounter.

dermdoc19 :

I would be happy to answer follow up questions or clarify any of the above.

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