2:25 pm - 09/28/2009

Ingrown hair/boil. Greaaaat.

Noticed about ten minutes ago while pulling off my pants that I've got a sore spot... and yep, it's an ingrown hair down there - a little to one side of my mons pubis. I shaved like three days ago... didn't notice this yesterday so it must have sprouted up overnight.
Normally I'd ignore it but this one's obviously angry. It's really sore to the touch, like a bruise. The top has grown over, entirely, and the only obvious evidence on my skin is that it's a bit red there. There's a lump, a little bigger than the the size of a pencil eraser... hard to tell because from the sides I'm feeling through significant amounts of skin and tissue and stuff. And it hurts, a lot, to try to feel around it. So I'm guessing it now fits the definition of a boil.
I have insurance, but I'm really reluctant to go to the hospital and get the damn thing looked at if it's nothing, and I don't know how serious it is. It's not big and maybe it'll go away on its own?
I've got a sterilized needle - syringe - stashed in my first aid kit. Should I just bite the bullet and... basically lance it myself?

I'm really worried about this. My dad got an ingrown hair on his stomach that turned into a boil, got worse and worse despite antibiotics... he ended up lancing it himself and there was (excuse my grossness) pretty much a cavity left because it'd gotten so bad. He has a really bad scar from it.

Ugh. Advice?
yaymyson 28th-Sep-2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it will work in this situation, but sometimes when i have ingrown hairs, etc. i just keep a very, very warm, moist washcloth over the area; it opens the pores/follicles, and the warmth helps ease the pain.
Good luck!
natane 28th-Sep-2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
i've done that before on simple ingrown hairs, i don't think it'll help at this point, though, because it's entirely grown over.
princessdsf 28th-Sep-2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
I use tea tree oil on my ingrown hairs. Zaps them in about 2 days or so. I love the stuff! If you don't have sensitive skin, then I highly recommend it.
natane 28th-Sep-2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
is that going to help when it's grown back over entirely though?

i've had allergies to tea tree & eucalyptus oil in the past or i'd try it :( two different incidents where my lips/around my eyes swelled up really badly. i can't even have cough drops with eucalyptus oil.
princessdsf 28th-Sep-2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
Awww I'm so sorry to hear that about the tea tree and eucalyptus! I've used tea tree oil on several boil-type ingrown hairs and have had great results. As far as using the sterile needle to lance it, I would hold off. There's always the possibility of introducing bacteria via the puncture site and causing even more chaos! Wish I could help :(
natane 28th-Sep-2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
okay. i'll wait and see if it settles down. thank you :)
hotcoffeems 28th-Sep-2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
Don't do the tea tree oil if you've reacted badly in the past!

I'd second the warm moist cloth to start with; shouldn't hurt anything, at least, and may help.

I too would be tempted to lance it myself, even though you're probably not *supposed* to. If you do succumb to temptation, make sure everything is clean and sterile, clean the area well, and maybe use Neosporin after.
natane 28th-Sep-2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
i'll try the cloth. if it's not gone by tomorrow should i go get it looked at/lance it?

i guess what i'm really trying to ask is how long do you wait for something like this to go away on its own, or do you not at all at this point?
hotcoffeems 28th-Sep-2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
I'd think it's time to take care of it, whether at the doctor's office or via home surgery ;)...it's obviously infected.
ssha 28th-Sep-2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
I strongly recommend going to the doctor to have it looked at, and possibly lanced.

However, if you're determined to lance it on your own, use polysporin, rather than neosporin.
womdigo 29th-Sep-2009 12:24 am (UTC)
I'm curious why? I usually get the generic "triple antibiotic" which category would this fall under?
tsemed_chemed 29th-Sep-2009 02:50 am (UTC)
I think triple antibiotic is the same or similar to polysporin. I never had polysporin until I lived in Canada. I guess it is available in the US, but I usually only see bacitracin/neosporin/triple antibiotic.
zeldakitty 28th-Sep-2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
ichthammol drawing salve might help? Smells like roofing tar and is black and sticky like tar. Put it on before you go to bed, put bandaid over it, might help?
kelseyraex 28th-Sep-2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
ouchie. =[

yeah, i guess just keep an eye on it and dont do anything too darastic until its obviously needed.

boils/cysts/ingrown hairs are such assholes.
ticktockman 28th-Sep-2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
You don't need an emergency room visit, but this is the sort of thing that doctors handle in their offices. So call your regular doctor and ask to be worked in. You could also go to a walk-in clinic or urgent-care clinic if your insurance covers one of those.


atalanta0jess 28th-Sep-2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
You don't need to go to the hospital. I would make a doctors appointment for like, 4 or 5 days from now. In the meantime, I would do hot compresses to help it heal up. If it gets significantly better, you can cancel the appointment, and if it doesn't then the doc. can help. I would definitely not lance it yourself.
tokio 28th-Sep-2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
It may not be a boil at all; it could be just a cystic pimple. Those are rather common in this area from all the moisture and friction. It's basically a cluster of infected skin cells; to protect itself, the skin stupidly continues regenerating skin cells at a fast pace to cover up the infection and get it down itself. The resulting sore is much like what you've described. Sometimes, the infection will grow until it has roughed up all the skin cells on top of it, and this will allow it to come to the surface. This is more common in areas like the face or between the thighs, anywhere with a lot of friction or a lot of exposure to the elements.

When the infection begins to burst within the frame your skin has set up for it, that's when it begins to heal. You'll notice it's not as hard as it was at first. This means the infection is going to go away soon.

In the meantime, here's what you should do:

- Do not pop it or squeeze it.
- Do not apply a warm compress to it. Heat helps the infection spread.
- If it begins to hurt, take an ice cube and firmly but gently rub it over the cyst.
- Wear breathable cotton underwear.
- If it begins to hurt, take an Ibuprofen for swelling and apply straight castor oil to the affected area.
- Sea salt may help dry the skin out and move the infection closer to the top of the skin. So will benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
britasaurus_rex 30th-Sep-2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
My doctor told me soaking in a hot tub would help bring it to a head.
tokio 1st-Oct-2009 02:09 am (UTC)
It might. In my experience, however, hot compresses can make the infection worse. The very first cyst I had lasted for months because I was doing hot compresses. Heat, especially heat coming from a very focused source, facilitates spreading of the infection.

I would add epsom salts to your bath. Also, if it seems to get worse, look into taking Arnica to promote healing.
First Aid Kit [1aidkit.com] 30th-Mar-2011 07:48 am (UTC)
What doctor?
tsemed_chemed 28th-Sep-2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
What I would do, personally, is put a hot compress on it for about 30 minutes and then rub the area with an alcohol soaked wad of toilet paper (or an actual alcohol swab if I had one), and then poke it with a clean needle. I'd drain out all the gunk inside, then I'd put some antibiotic cream like polysporin/neosporin/bacitracin on it and put a bandaid on top, but I am a picker/popper and have no insurance and firmly believe in home surgery for this sort of thing. People post youtube videos of this shit all the time.
jaggednib 28th-Sep-2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
Take an empty beer bottle and run the open end of it under really hot water. Take a towel and wrap it around the bigger end of the bottle so you don't burn your hands.
Place the opening of the beer bottle right on the boil/ingrown hair. This will hurt. (You may need help with this, depending on its location.) Hold the beer bottle there until it starts to cool off and creates a suction.
When it's cool and suctioned, gently and slowly, pull it off. As the suction breaks, the boil should erupt. If it doesn't try doing this again.
If it still doesn't work... well.. I guess lance it yourself or check with your doctor.

This is a tried and true method in our house for boils and it works every time.

Good luck.
yaymyson 29th-Sep-2009 08:37 am (UTC)
oh my god. that's so cool.
natane 29th-Sep-2009 03:18 am (UTC)
aaagh :(
no matter what this thing is going to be not pleasant...

i'm going to wait until tomorrow morning and if it isn't gone or at least going down i'll lance it.

i've put hot wet towels on it several times today and it makes me hurt like fuck :(
hotcoffeems 29th-Sep-2009 05:37 am (UTC)
I have to say, I'm sympathy-hurtin' for ya, just reading this thread...good luck!
britasaurus_rex 30th-Sep-2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
I got rid of one in a couple days by applying a hot green tea bag to the area. If you are already doing hot towels, might as well switch to a hot green tea bag! Also keep your hands AWAAYY from it. heh.
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