Friday, July 22, 2011

3314 Ugly stuff - avert your eyes and skip this one.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Definition: Punker - Rebel without a clue, with a high school art project hairdo.

(I suspect there's a more current term than "punker" for them,
but the effect is still the same. You know, like the guys with the rainbow Mohawks?)


I'd mentioned that I can't wear tight jeans, that I get "bumps" on my bottom from them. Well, I also get bumps in front on the mons, around the anus, or in the creases of the groin if I wear anything that is both tight and that rubs there. (But not on the labia.)

The ones on my bottom seem to resolve quickly without getting nasty. The bump comes, complains, then goes away. The others don't.

The bad ones start out as a hard pea under the skin. The bump gets bigger. Then it gets red over the bump, and it gets sensitive. Then it gets dark gray over the bump. Then a black dot appears. The lump continues to grow until the skin seems very tight, there's no more room for it, and it hurts like hell. Then two or three weeks or so since it first started, it either forms a head under or next to the black dot, which eventually bursts and drains, or it drains through the black dot without forming a head, or, and these are the worst, it forms a tunnel deep under the skin, to the outside, and drains an inch or more from the center of the bump. The latter take forever to resolve. The drainage is almost all dark blood, with a little white pus. After two days of draining, there will be a hard plug of white cheesy stuff, and then it's done. They all usually leave a black scar spot when they're gone.

Many doctors, GPs and GYNs, and one dermatologist, have seen them. I've had many diagnoses, been told they are ingrown hairs, infected sweat glands, infected oil glands, rectal tears, my cleanliness and sexual habits have been called into question, everything. Two doctors have cultured the contents, looking for the right antibiotic, and surprise, there IS *NO* BACTERIA involved. It seems to be an immunological overreaction to something, but no one was sure what. In those few cases I had gone to the doctor when it was so painful I couldn't stand it, and about when the doctor decided to lance it after taking it down with antibiotics, by then it had resolved itself and gone away.

First one. Never mind how I ended up on a horse with flopping stirrups at 24, long story, anyway the horse ran away with me and the bouncing tore up my bottom pretty well. I got a bump the size of a softball between the nether cheeks, so large and hard I couldn't close my legs. The doctor called it a perirectal abscess, and put me on antibiotics, planning to lance it once the infection was taken down a bit. But it soon burst on its own, and immediately healed.

Over the next ten years I had small ones all around that area, about one a year, painful for two to ten days, then burst and/or cleared up. (I had one smack between the vagina and anus when I gave birth to Daughter. That's probably how I avoided the "prophylactic" episiotomy everyone automatically got in those days. Doctor was afraid to cut into it.) I blamed them on leftover tears from that damned horse.

Then they moved. In my late 30s and 40s I got them mostly in the crease at the top of the leg. Smaller ones, not so painful, about one every two years.

In my 50s they moved again. Now I get them on the mons, the fluffy part, right in front, maybe one every ten months or so. The bumps get about the size of a large marble (what we used to call a shooter). They aren't very nasty, but they look bad. Try entertaining a man with a bandaid on your mons. I still get told "ingrown hair", "big pimple", and "sweat gland".

On "The Doctors" today, they had a woman who had a similar thing going on in her armpits. They said the name of the condition, but I wasn't really watching and missed it. It took me a while of roundabout searches on the internet, but I found it.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa.

It's a real thing, and the descriptions match mine perfectly! There's a lot out there on it, and as with so much, not all accounts agree. I think some sites are mixing these things up with ordinary boils (caused by a strep bacteria), lumping them altogether in the same pot. This stuff is NOT the same as a boil. It acts differently. And it's not a bacteria thing.

It's described almost everywhere as rare. HA! I'll bet it's not so rare - just that nobody recognizes it! So cases don't get reported or counted.

A few sites mention a theory that high androgens contribute. I am high androgen. High enough that back in the 60s, birth control pills not only didn't work on me, they leveled me out so that I was more likely to get pregnant.

Gee, it's nice to have a name for it, even if there's no cure. Now I can say to a man, "oh, that? That's nothing. Just hidradenitis suppurativa. Not even contageous."


Becs said...

My stepfather had this. Er, can't answer for the lower half, but he had horrible boils or whatever on his back, in his pits, and even, sadly, on his handsome face.

He went to the dermatologist who actually knew what it was and gave him antibiotics (see Wikipedia Rx). He also had to go to have some of the worst ones operated on.

Poor guy.

Poor you!

~~Silk said...

Repeating louder - There's NO BACTERIA! Antibiotics won't help this. If an antibiotic does help, it isn't the same thing I've got.

Becs said...

The Mayo Clinic said so. It's on the innerwebs, so it must be true.

~~Silk said...

As I said, some folks are lumping boils and everything else in, too. Boils are not the same. I've had boils and carbuncles, and they are different.

Remember when there was no such thing as learning disabilities? You were either stupid or retarded. All learning difficulties were in the same pot. Plunk. Even the experts said that.

It's like that.

NO BACTERIA!!!!!! Boils are staph and respond to antibiotics. These things are aseptic. Mayo Clinic is not differentiating.

the queen said...

It's a real-life Mystery Diagnosis! Close your eyes dramatically.