11:25 pm - 02/24/2011

Blisters/sores on face & armpit


I'm a long-time lurker, first-time poster, and one of my friends has some unexplained sores.

About a month ago, she had 3 small ones on her face, between her bottom lip and her chin. They lasted a week or two, and she said they looked like they were spreading a bit, so she cleaned them/applied Polysporin, and they healed.

Yesterday we were hanging out, and she said she had similar ones, but this time they were under her armpit. I took a pic and told her I'd ask on here.
I feel bad, because when she first mentioned them to me, all she said was "face" and "blisters", and I said, "Well, that sounds like a herpes outbreak," and now she's freaked out. I've tried talking to her about how it's not the end of  the world if it is HSV, and how STIs should be viewed the same way as the flu or a cold, but she's still pretty worried.

We've both been looking online, and now we think it might be Shingles, because she hasn't had the classic crusting that usually accompanies cold sores.

Thanks for any help you can give!


slice254 25th-Feb-2011 04:46 am (UTC)
In all likeliood, it isn't shingles. Shingles usually comes with significant pain.

It could be a staph infection, but to me it looks like hidradenitis suppurativa, especially if it keeps coming back. HS isn't terribly serious, but she should have a doc, either her primary or a dermatologist, take a look. It isn't curable, but it can be treated with antibiotics whenever she has an outbreak (I have it, and my dermatologist just gave me a prescription to use whenever I have one, trusting that I'll only use them when I have to).

You can read more about it here:

paraxeni 25th-Feb-2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
Yep, that was my thought too. It looks exactly like outbreaks I've seen.
io2012 26th-Feb-2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
Ditto - HS is an autoimmune reaction (your body fighting against itself) and, in severe cases, will continue to be a problem even if it is properly treated with antibiotics. However, mild cases are often made much worse by bacterial infection. A CULTURE of a scraping from her armpit will allow the doctor to choose the correct antibiotic. I'm a big advocate of knowing what you're fighting and fighting with the correct tools!
killertatertots 25th-Feb-2011 06:52 am (UTC)
doesnt look like shingles to me. i have something like that right now, all week, for the first time, on my butt, so i will be watching replies here.
merilla 25th-Feb-2011 08:40 am (UTC)
Sometimes folliculitis can present like that. It's definitely worth seeing a doctor about.
If it is folliculitis, a course of antibiotics will help.
barrelofrain 25th-Feb-2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
That's what I was thinking,
sydneyjs12 25th-Feb-2011 11:11 am (UTC)
I don't think it's shingles. They're painful and start with burning, shooting pain, tingling and itching. They're usually on your ribs to start.

"Most commonly, the shingles rash develops as a band of blisters that wraps around one side of your chest from your spine to your breastbone. Sometimes the shingles rash occurs around one eye or on one side of the neck or face."
That's from the Mayo Clinic.

Possibly impetigo.
sleepseeker 25th-Feb-2011 01:46 pm (UTC)
agreed. shingles is excruciating and tends to feel like it's wrapped around your ribs on one side.
ext_2043954 29th-Jun-2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
Have you figured out what it is? im having the exact same thing happen right now and im freaking out....
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