I am a 31 year old female. Since I was about 18, I have been getting boils on my chin. I am at my wits end - I have two big ones right now (!)
I often have to go to my doctor to get antibiotics as they take ages to go - and I get impatient and squeeze them. He gives me flucoxicillin (oral) and fusidic acid (topical). But they don't go away any quicker than if I take nothing.
I haven't had much help from my doc otherwise. One said I might have staph. auerus (sp?) living in my chin/pores. Another said they get bad is because I squeeze them (but I wait til they go all squishy before I squeeze - not when they're hard. I usually try to leave well alone but after a week of it, I give in). I asked about the stuff you put up your nose, but he said it wouldn't work as I only get them on my chin, so it can't be due to staph up my nose.
I don't get boils anywhere else, ever. These boils often start as something that looks a bit like a blackhead, but it is more raised. If I squeeze these things, they often come up as boils a week later.
The thing is, I sometimes get other blackheads (nose etc) - and when I squeeze these, they NEVER turn into boils. So - surely it can't be my squeezing technique??!!
They seem to be worse when I'm stressed (another doctor said this could be the cause).
I have never seen a dermatologist. I'm in the UK - and I assume they don't think it's bad enough to refer.
Any advice, or anyone have this problem? I'd be grateful for your feedback. It's really getting me down. Many thanks.
Be willing to bet what you are getting are sebaceous cysts. They start out looking pretty harmless and then turn into hard boils that really hurt! I get them behind my ears all the time and I've had them on my face. I use religiously Benxoyl Peroxide (?) I believe that is how you spell it - it's called Brevoxyl to wash my face with. There really isn't a thing you can do to get them to go away for good. If they get infected antibiotics are the only way to go - to calm down the infection. I have used heat on them - such as hot wet towels to help draw the cyst to a head. They can make you pretty miserable until they erupt. Sorry I couldn't bring in a cure for them - I wish I knew one for myself. Take Care...Scarlett
Thank you for replying - I was getting desperate!!! Unfortunately, benzoyl peroxide makes my skin really sore and I look like I have burns after using it!! (I'm assuming this is the stuff you get in OTC acne preparations?)
From beginning to end (bit long, sorry):
Somtimes they just come up of their own accord, no warning (tends to be around my period if this happens, or when I'm very stressed).
Other times, they start with what looks like a blackhead, but it's different. It's more raised. But not very big. If I squeeze it, a tiny amount of hard pus comes out (like a blackhead) and I think it's done with. (NB my doctor says just not to squeeze them - but they are visible and if I don't squeeze them they will stay there for literally months, and sometimes turn into lumps of their own accord anyway)
About a week later a hard lump grows. Starts fairly small and within a day the hard lump has grown to about 2cm diameter. It's red and hurts.
So, I leave it for a few days, and it stays the same. If I leave it for a week, it stays the same, no head. After a week or so, it sometimes gets a bit squishy on top (!). So I squeeze it (because I've had enough by then!). No pus, no head. Just watery, bloody stuff comes out. Occasionally some pus comes out, but only a tiny amount (compared to the size of the bump!). (I suppose if I left it for a good couple of weeks it might come to a head).
Then, it just weeps (clear stuff) and crusts over. I pick the crust off (so I can go out without scaring people!). This carries on until it has gone (I wake up every morning with a clear crust). It can take a week of weeping before the lump has (mostly) subsided. But I can be left with a small lump and feeling like something is in there for months and months. And then it can flare up all over again!
As I said, I don't get them anywhere else. I don't get these funny blackhead things anywhere else. (I get other blackheads occasionally - and when I squeeze them, they go - they never turn to hard bumps - which is why I don't thinkit is the way I squeeze them). It's ONLY ever my chin that gets these bumps.
At one point, I actually had a carbuncle on my chin, which was the size of half my chin. This came out of the blue when I was stressed and took two months to go, leaving a little bit of hard stuff in it, which stayed for a couple of years. Also, the pores where it was still look grey when I look closely.
I does get worse when I am eating badly (not much fruit and veg, eating carbs and sugar) - and these times are usually when I am anxious (I have panic disorder) and am not eating much (and what I am eating is rubbish). I'm pretty sure I'm not diabetic (got tested in past).
Thanks again - if this description makes it any clearer, I'd be grateful for your feedback.
I have the exact same problem-symptoms as you described and mainly on my chin. Stress and bad eating habits also seem to make it worse. Found out that much is hormone related. Oily skin from androgens hormone mix with bacteria(staph is on our skin) entered through the pores of our hair follicles and an infection develops. The result - boils! Then, the long process of treating them with oral antibiotics. They seem to heal faster if you leave the scabs on to prevent the staph bacteria (on the skin`s surface) from entering the boil. Also, eating less carbs will actually decrease the oil producing hormones in our skin, which is why we have to limit them. I try to eat more immunity building fruits and veggies and drink gallons of bacteria flushing water every day to prevent more outbreaks Also, I wash at least twice a day with Cetaphil cleanser for sensitive, oily skin(I too have very sensitive skin that burns from acne products) and change cloths, towels and pillowcovers often.(Staph bacteria will live on these linens for days). Hopefully this helps you.
I also get something similar and have recently changed pills that has worsened my problem. I was on a pill thats meant to be good for skin and my skin was pretty good on it but now I have come off it as it was giving me cramps in my feet.
I have tried BP but it makes me come out in a rash. I went to the derm who wasn't really bothered and prescribed me duac cream. Little did I know that this has bp in it so I couldn't use that either. I am now on a course of antibiotics which I only started taking on Monday so I hope they help. I think it must mostly be due to hormones but I am really starting to think that I am never going to get rid of them completely as I have been getting them for nearly 10 years.
It can be quite depressing though as they get really painful and unsightly so it does affect your life and makes me not want to go out at times.
I hope you find something that helps and if you do please share.
i think i'm getting those too.. well i'm 26 and never had a bad problem with acne until i started wearing a bullet proof vest for work.. it was during the summer so i would sweat in my vest and keep wearing it all day.. so my back got all zitty and now its turned into these red sores.
they scab but they dont heal.. my derm gave me a bacteria/steroid solution that hasn't really helped.. i have really sensitive skin so i'm wondering if that plays into it.
but its weird, i'm not sure why its happening but its only on my shoulder blades, (where the vest was). but they itch like crazy, or hurt.. when i wasn't working out or sweating they looked as if they were going to heal, but as soon as i work out again or sweat, or take a hot shower they get all red and irritated again.
so now my doctor gave me keflex to try for a week, not sure if i would do that.. does anybody know if it works?
also, does that beroxyl stuff work for these boils? i know your guys' skin can't tolerate it, and maybe mine can't either, but if you could tolerate it does it actually make these things go away quicker than oral meds or what?
thanks all... hopefully we can figure out something.. i heard something about sandalroot or whatever the heck its called helping acne.... but these doesn't even look like acne anymore.. ugh.
there used to be a thread here a while ago about frutels which was a vitamin thing. some people had good results and when one of the posters here mentioned theirr period and stress it reminded me.Don't know but maybe they could help you.
Last edited by moderator2; 12-26-2008 at 11:43 AM.
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What is being described here is Subcutaneous Cysts- and they can be injected in a dermatolgoists office with cortisone, which will cause them to go away within 24 hours. You have to find a derm who is willing to do it. I am in my 40s and get them as well, usually around my mouth and chin....overly active oil glands, under the skin, clog and cause these to happen. Stress and diet can aggravate it, but its usually more hormonal. It can also be genetically inherited.
See a good derm and ask about injections.....and in the meantime, cut down on carbs and refined sugars- and dont OVERWASH your face, as this will stimulate more oil production.
Good luck. I feel for you, its horrible to have them!
In case anyone is still reading these older posts, Turmeric (curcumin) in capsule form, is great. Works like an antibiotic practically for skin related problems. I had a persistent sebaceous cyst which has disappeared. First came to head, then drained. Took turmeric 3 times a day (about 900mg three times per day--like an antibiotic schedule). Don't mess with the thing, until it's coming to a head---took about a week. Then helped it along to get out the stuff. Used gauze pads and applied triple antibiotic ointment/gel (then covered with gauze pad and tape). Now an open wound that needs to be treated. So keep doing above, until it's completely drained and wound is closed (about another week). Important to squeeze a little bit before the wound closes to make sure any solid core material is expelled. That prevents recurrence. I tried antibiotics many times over the years and the turmeric treatment trumps them completely.
I have used a few things that seem to work. Tumeric, a common spice use in cooking. Make a paste and apply. Also a teaspoon in water and drink. Google it under home/natural remedies for treating boils. Also, I've been using old fashioned lye soap, no perfumes or anything and my skin has never looked better. I actually bought it at Ace Hardware, has a scrubbing board picture on front. I think you can buy it on-line if you want. Also, those swollen cysts can be helped by icing it for as long as you can, not an overnight fix but really helps with inflammation. I haven't posted anything in a while but these are the things I have used lately and things have been much better lately. Antibiotics never worked for me.