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painful lumps under my armpits appeared

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A couple of months ago, some painful lumps under my armpits appeared. They started clearing up on their own within weeks but i still went to the doctor to get it checked out. She couldn't find anything wrong and prescribed antibiotics.

Now a few days ago, my knee became swollen and painful. A bump appeared which turned into a pus-filled sore. It's since been popped (accidentally) but it still hurts.

Now, the lumps under my arms are starting to come back. They hurt a little with touch, but no where near as bad as it was.

Now i'm worried this may be something really bad. It seems like these events are related. I feel like these were caused by an infection.

Any insight on what might be going on?

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replied May 29th, 2014
Infectious Diseases Answer A47483
Hi, and thanks for your query on eHealth forum!

Yes, the bumps could be due to infection. This should respond to local and oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Your doctor can prescribe this. Since it is recurring, get your blood sugar checked. High blood sugar also causes infection to linger.

It can also be Hidradenitis suppurativa, which presents as recurrent boil-like pus-like discharge abscesses resulting in difficult-to-heal open wounds and sometimes scarring. It commonly occurs on sweat gland-bearing skin such as in the groin, the underarms and under the breasts. It is also known as ‘acne inversa’. The disease can spread to genitals.

Wash skin with antiseptic lotions daily to decrease bacteria. Treatment of Hidradenitis suppurativa is topical antibiotics and steroids. Local antibiotics of erythromycin and Clindamycin group also help. Retenoid group of drugs also help. Wear loose fitting clothes. Get your diabetes status checked as high blood sugar can also cause recurrent boils. Consult a skin specialist. Take care!

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