Another bite identification question!
December 26, 2020 8:13 AM   Subscribe

I have a single small bite, presumably, on my upper thigh that is red, a small circle, and ends with a small raised brown dot. (Zoomed-in) photos here. It does not itch at all, though somewhat hurts if I press into it or if it rubs up against clothing. It appeared overnight and I was in Manhattan, NY, when this occurred. I'm not really worried about it but mostly just curious!
posted by andrewesque to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you sure it's a bite? I've had similar weird acne.

I mean, no, I don't know what that is, but if that was on me I would pop it.
posted by bbqturtle at 8:26 AM on December 26, 2020

Its likely to be an ingrown hair causing what looks like an acne spot, or is a cystic acne spot, or is a boil. I'd pop it but you shouldn't!
posted by DarlingBri at 8:35 AM on December 26, 2020 [9 favorites]

It's more likely an ingrown hair than a bite (honestly many bites that aren't immediately identifiable as a known type of bite, including lots of "spider" bites, are ingrown hairs or staph), and at that particular stage if you pop or disturb it you may very well be able to pull a horrifyingly long hair out of it.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:36 AM on December 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

In any case, the best thing to do would blob some neosporin on a bandage and cover it for the day.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:37 AM on December 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

My first thought was ingrown hair or boil. Don't pop it. Neosporin and bandage would be what I would do.
posted by kathrynm at 8:48 AM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Definitely concur it looks like an ingrown hair. It's the sort of thing that I personally would carefully lance with a sterilized needle but I know I'm not supposed to do that.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:59 AM on December 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Nthing "ingrown hair". If you want to do something above and beyond "neosporin and a bandage" but aren't comfortable lancing with a needle, maybe a hot compress - simple as a washcloth soaked in hot water and then held against the spot for about 15-20 minutes. Repeat a couple times as the washcloth cools if you are comfortable, or until the thing raises a head and then drains.

That's what my childhood friend's mother (who was a nurse) said to do about ingrown hairs; it's also what I've done with particularly stubborn sebaceous cysts.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:06 AM on December 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

Looks like a tiny staph infection to me. You could have those on your back periodically and never know so it's not serious, but whatever it is, it is mildly infected.

Make a hot cup of tea and put the hot teabag on the lump to try to draw it out. If the white fluid below the surface comes out and oozes and drains from it, it will likely heal faster.

Failing that, or after trying that, a dab of standard toothpaste will be an effective treatment and likely is something you already have in the house.

But again you can also pretend you never saw it and inspect again in twenty-four hours at which time it will likely be not so inflamed. If it gets worse do pay attention to it, as those things can turn into boils. Very, very rarely, of course, but boils are no fun. (What am I saying? Boils are uncomfortable but so fascinating that they have whole YouTube channels devoted to the process of draining them.)

Change whatever clothes may be pressing against the area, if say, it is in the underpants region. Bacteria in the clothes, or your bed sheets, or on your skin are likely at fault here. If you were a bed-ridden person this would require more attention as such things can be the nucleus of a bedsore in someone susceptible.
posted by Jane the Brown at 10:24 AM on December 26, 2020

Whatever route you decide to take, whether you decide to lance it or whatever, use a sharpie to draw an outline around the redness, so you’ll have a better idea of whether it’s getting worse.
posted by fancyoats at 11:33 AM on December 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

If you have health insurance like I do, I'd wait 3 days to see if it starts clearing up, and if not i'd see a Dr for antibiotics. Full disclosure: when I was in high school my father had a boil that then turned out to be a very rare strain of MRSA that left him in a coma for months and on the brink of death, so i'm a bit paranoid
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:37 AM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Wow, everyone is so careful! I would assume it’s an ingrown hair, swab it and my eyebrow tweezers with alcohol, poke it open and gently squeeze it out. I’d expect a hair to emerge, then put on a drop of iodine and maybe a bandaid so it wouldn’t bleed on my shirt.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 2:04 PM on December 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

Nthing that Neosporin +bandage, is what I would do as well.
posted by gudrun at 3:38 PM on December 26, 2020

I would not be able to resist squeezing that thing. Probably not a brilliant move, but how do you stop yourself? I have survived squeezing many skin blemishes and I have a visceral reaction of wanting to squeeze that welt just from the pictures.
posted by nixxon at 3:55 PM on December 27, 2020

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