Please help with this disgusting matter!
July 15, 2010 4:31 AM   Subscribe

I really thought it was a pimple...please help! Gross details inside

YANMD, but stil...I just came back from the gym, and saw I had a huge pimple /boil on my inner thigh. I decided to pop it, and part of my leg (fat? muscle?) actually came through!

I know it sounds ridiculous, but it hurts like hell, and I've been trying to push the stuff back, what on earth is this?

Now it looks like a mole, it looks like whatever the ball was made off is now outside, but protected with a sort of membrane.

It's killing me... what is it, what do i do?
posted by Tarumba to Health & Fitness (31 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: OK. I think I'm off to the emergency room!
posted by Tarumba at 4:39 AM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

It could have been a boil. Those things hurt like hell and do pop up around those areas. And they have a lot of stuff in it. Hope all is well!
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 4:57 AM on July 15, 2010

Or possibly a sebaceous cyst - those things can be really ugly. Not particularly dangerous though.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:10 AM on July 15, 2010

The emergency room was probably a good move. This could have been a hernia.

Herniae are protrusions of organs through what normally keeps them in place into spaces where they aren't supposed to be. There are dozens of kinds, but muscles doing weird things like this after strenuous exertion, i.e. the gym, is depressingly common.

Good luck.
posted by valkyryn at 5:36 AM on July 15, 2010

Best answer: Could also be a lipoma (in which case they've probably already excised it and stitched you back up in a very easy and fast procedure using local anaesthetic :))
posted by bifter at 5:42 AM on July 15, 2010

Bet it's a cyst. I've seen some that had TARDIS-like abilities: on the outside, looks like a pimple. Pop it open, squeeze, and it's just white goooooo for what seems like an eternity.

Nasty stuff.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:52 AM on July 15, 2010

I know someone who popped something they thought was a pimple and it turned out to be a staph infection which required the ER. I'm glad to hear you decided to go!
posted by amethysts at 5:53 AM on July 15, 2010

Bet it's a cyst. I've seen some that had TARDIS-like abilities: on the outside, looks like a pimple. Pop it open, squeeze, and it's just white goooooo for what seems like an eternity.

Yeah, I had one in my back. I could have made a candle with what came out.
posted by empath at 6:10 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

The stuff that popped out could have been pus.

In any event, it does sound like the emergency room is a good idea.
posted by dfriedman at 6:35 AM on July 15, 2010

Best answer: My guess is also sebacious cyst. They look like hardened white-heads. I've never been able to pop one out, but I've had them removed and I know that they are in a little sac, so I can imagine that if you popped it, then it would like... hang there. I just shuddered.
posted by molecicco at 6:37 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've never been able to pop one out, but I've had them removed and I know that they are in a little sac,

Yes, and my friend who is a Physician's Assistant and likes to tell me about gross stuff she does says that the key to fixing in--and not having it recur over and over and over again--is to get the sac out.
posted by not that girl at 7:01 AM on July 15, 2010

Response by poster: I think it was either a cyst or a lipoma.

Anyway, I burned toilet scissors and cut it off. It hurt like hell, but it was cheaper than the ER.

I am so sorry about the grossness of this question. I am now in a bit of pain, embarrassed, but happy it's gone.

Thank you for your replies! all I have to sayis, I was in pain and really freaked out! Mefi is the only idea that came to my head!
posted by Tarumba at 7:47 AM on July 15, 2010

Best answer: What the heck are toilet scissors?

(Also, glad you're ok, and next time let MeFi help you with the DIY ER excision...collectively, we can do anything.)
posted by iamkimiam at 7:50 AM on July 15, 2010

Best answer: IANAD but I pick at stuff like that all the time. Make sure to keep the scab/area clean and if it gets scabby don't pick at it or you'll have a fabulous pocky scar.
posted by ShadePlant at 7:54 AM on July 15, 2010

The correct answer to the question "Should I go to the ER" is always yes.

Seriously. Go get this thing checked out, even if you've cut it off.
posted by schmod at 7:54 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

At least tell your GP about it. If this turns out to be a recurrent thing, chances are they'd prefer to help you with it.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 7:55 AM on July 15, 2010

Good lord! Call a dermatologist, or a GP, and get it taken care of! It could come back, get infected, have friends.... I was going to encourage you to mark your own first answer as "best answer", but you're right, maybe the emergency room is a little extreme -- but now is a great time to go to a regular doctor.

Also, I regret not finishing breakfast before reading this thread.
posted by amtho at 8:06 AM on July 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

Jesus Christ, if you get a staph infection, that's going to cost way more than a followup at your low-cost neighborhood walk-in clinic.
posted by availablelight at 8:16 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: FWIW you can find plenty of vids online of lipoma and cyst removal (although gods only know why someone would want to film it).

Probably handy if anyone else reads this and plans to DIY.
posted by bifter at 8:28 AM on July 15, 2010

Response by poster: I PROMISE to go to my GP.

I really thought I was having a 2010 version of Rosemary's baby.

By toilet scissors I meant those tiny scissors that hang out in the toilet.

Sorry about your breakfast, people.
posted by Tarumba at 8:30 AM on July 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I had something similar, if you go to a doctor, they will usually test the fluids to see what kind of bacteria it is and possibly put you on antibiotics they know are effective against that particular bacteria. Definitely be sure to sterilize EVERYthing, I mean wash towels after every shower, wash your hands a lot etc etc. The strain I had was resistant to a lot of antibiotics (MRSA) Also, something helpful if you like natural remedies is adding turmeric to your diet.
posted by heatherly at 9:07 AM on July 15, 2010


IANYD, but based your description, this does not sound like either a lipoma (a benign fatty tumor) or a hernia (which begins with a weak segment of muscle/skin, not a pimple).

I would be very careful with home incision and drainage of an abscess like this. In fact, I wouldn't recommend it at all. I&D can be done much more safely and less painfully in an urgent care or ER. If you screw it up and don't fix your infection, you'll end up with a much worse infection than you started with that can be really nasty and much more expensive (i.e. requiring a hospital stay with IV antibiotics).

Best treatment at home for abscesses is just to use warm compresses to try to get them to start draining. They really need to drain to heal (they do not often require antibiotic treatment if they aren't accompanied by a surrounding skin infection and if you are a healthy person). You should start with the compress when it just looks like a pimple if you are prone to these. Don't do home surgery.

The other thing you can do is, as heatherly pointed out, this was likely a staph infection, maybe MRSA. You should take precautions against skin infections - basically using antibacterial wipes on surfaces like gym equipment etc. that you use, not sharing clothing, razors or linens like towels with people, washing all the clothing and towels, showering after sports.
CDC site on MRSA prevention

If you develop spreading redness from the site or other signs of worsening infection like fever/chills, you need to get to the ER immediately. It also wouldn't hurt to go within a few hours of seeing any wound with protruding fatty tissue, because these wounds usually need to be repaired with stitches - yours probably not though because it's a dirty/infected wound, and you've waited too long. Now that you have just an open wound, it should be packed with iodoform gauze so that it heals upwards from the bottom instead of over the top leaving a cavity underneath. You should change the dressing to a new clean and dry dressing at least daily or more if it is draining significantly.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:07 AM on July 15, 2010 [5 favorites]

Chiming in as someone who unfortunately knows what he is talking about: staph infections suck. I could regale you with horror stories and advice, but NAD/NYD and all that. I would advise getting professional medical attention for this.
posted by Nabubrush at 11:38 AM on July 15, 2010

On (quite late) preview, I'm glad you're getting professional medical attention for this and . . . I'll just . . . go now . . .
posted by Nabubrush at 11:44 AM on July 15, 2010

posted by molecicco at 3:50 PM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]

I think the OP means manicure scissors.
posted by sdn at 6:34 PM on July 15, 2010

So did you go to the ER? What was it?!
posted by blue_bicycle at 7:02 PM on July 15, 2010

Look, not to scare you but I know someone who got MRSA and spent a week in the ICU. He now has a shunt in his arm and has to give himself IVs regularly. It's been many months since he was first infected. He's very lucky he has good insurance. PLEASE go to the doctor. I don't want your next question to be "I've got MRSA, now what?"
posted by IndigoRain at 9:21 PM on July 15, 2010

Warning do not watch this video contains graphic scenes of minor self surgery:

Was it a bit like this guy:
posted by koolkat at 11:27 PM on July 15, 2010

Link, though I absolutely refuse to click on it. Nope.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:40 AM on July 16, 2010

The word toilet describes the fixture and, especially in British English, the room containing the fixture.

I'm pretty sure he doesn't keep utensils in his toilet tank prepped for surgery.
posted by xorry at 6:09 AM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

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