I have some sort of bump on my buttock.
November 6, 2007 5:42 AM   Subscribe

I have some sort of bump on my buttock.

This morning when I woke up and started going about my daily routine I noticed it hurt to sit in a certain slouched position. On careful (and humbling) inspection with a mirror it would appear I have a small red lump (the size of half a dime, generally round, with a larger area of slightly reddened skin around it) on my buttock two or three inches below the point of cleavage and visible without any... parting (it is not between the buttocks in other words).

I have moderate and persistent facial acne and occasionally get pimples on my back or shoulders, so that was my leading theory. After some googling and closer inspection I think it may be a boil. I'm a college student and share bathroom facilities with three other guys, and am vaguely concerned at the possibility of MRSA or similar infections. None of them are athletes, and I'm not sure whether showers and toilets would function as transmission vectors, but it seems to be a problem on some campuses.

I'm an extreme virgin, having never so much as made prolonged eye contact with a member of the opposite sex so I think STDs can be ruled out.

My question then is whether I can, if you'll pardon the phrase, sit on this, or whether it warrants a trip to university medical services. Is this something that's likely to go away on it's own, and what can I do to encourage it's disappearance.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
Just go to the uni doc. They'll stick a needle in, nasty stuff will come out and it will be gone. If you leave it, it will get bigger and more painful - boils are just infections.
posted by polyglot at 5:54 AM on November 6, 2007

I had something similar -- mine was a pilonidal cyst. If you let it go too long it may become infected, and the solution is more painful the longer you wait. Go see the doctor.
posted by Shoggoth at 6:04 AM on November 6, 2007

A similar question only a few weeks ago.

Most likely a Pilonidal sinus, they are very common. Good luck.
posted by fire&wings at 6:11 AM on November 6, 2007

Absolutely go to the uni doc. Get it taken care of now, before it becomes further infected or—worse—gets huge and bursts. Alarmist, you say? I've heard of at least three people (one in a law blog post, another a friend of mine, and the third being David Sedaris) who had such boils, and from what they've all said, it can get really bad before it gets better, if you let it get to that point. It can become an abscess and threaten your life if you let it go long enough. So getting it taken care of in a clean/sterile fashion as soon as you can would be the best course of action.
posted by limeonaire at 7:01 AM on November 6, 2007

Please, Please, go to a doc ASAP!

You almost certainly have a pilonidal cyst. Very common but no fun. If you get it drained right away, you may get by w/o surgery.

I had this a few years ago, had to get the surgery. The whole infected area is cut out - I had a gash about 2-3 inches long and 1/2 inch deep down the center of my butcrack. They don't sew you up afterwords, you need to let it heal from the inside out. For the next few weeks/months, my wife had to repack my open wound with gauze 2 times a day - very painful. I don't want to scare you, but if you can avoid this by getting it taken care of ASAP, please do so.
posted by jpdoane at 8:33 AM on November 6, 2007

posted by jpdoane at 8:35 AM on November 6, 2007

Man, you've got free medical care! Definitely get it checked out.

It's probably not staph, although you don't necessarily have to be an athlete to pass it on. Whatever you do, don't squeeze it.
posted by ignignokt at 9:01 AM on November 6, 2007

Yeah, I'm seconding ignignokt. I used to have cystic breakouts on my back and shoulders, all the way down to the nether regions, quite frequently. Put it this way: If you try to squeeze it and nothing comes out, then it gets HORRIFICALLY painful and bigger, then you've got problems. Don't wait until it's a weird scar you have to explain to someone while getting ready to do the dirty-dirty for the first time.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:04 AM on November 6, 2007

IANAD, but I have had a Pilonidal Cyst. Given the location of your 'bump', you do not have a Pilonidal Cyst.
posted by hmca at 9:10 AM on November 6, 2007

"on my buttock two or three inches below the point of cleavage and visible without any... parting (it is not between the buttocks in other words)."

Ah - I think I misread your discription at first. If its on your buttock, and far away from your crack, its less likely that you have a pilonidal cyst.

But still, go to a doc, let them tell you!
posted by jpdoane at 9:19 AM on November 6, 2007

Regardless of where it is, you have some sort of infection. Get thee to a doctor. When it's small, antibiotics can get it back under control. When it gets larger, antibiotics alone might not be enough -- meaning a doctor will have to cut it open to drain, possibly leaving a scar. The sooner you see someone, the less a chance of the scar. So go. Now. And tell the doc you need to see someone today -- infections can't wait for an appointment to open up in the doc's schedule.
posted by centerweight at 6:24 PM on November 6, 2007

Sounds like a pilonidal cyst. I had one in sort of the same place (off set from the cleft) that I had removed a while ago. Your best bet is to see the doc, as you really can't determine what course of action they will take until they evaluate it. Good luck!
posted by richter_x at 8:52 PM on November 6, 2007

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