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Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11288
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice.
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I am female, 51 years old. I have had boil, cyst like swellings

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I am female, 51 years old. I have had boil, cyst like swellings which eventually burst for over 5 years. I have been referred to Colorectal Unit. I would be glad of any further information. Should I be worried? Forgot to say these occur in groin area.
Welcome to
I would like to ask a few questions so that I can better answer you.
Do you smoke?
Are you overweight?
What treatment have you tried for the boils? Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes I am overweight but not obese. my doctor prescribes antibiotics which does help but they keep coming back.


Most likely you have a condition called hydradenitis suppurativa. It's a skin condition more common in women for which we don't understand the cause. We do know that it's more common in overweight people and in those who smoke. It may be a variation of acne, in which the sweat glands get plugged up and become infected. It typically occurs in the groins, but can also occur in the armpits, buttocks, and under the breasts. It can progress under the skin in tracts that link the abscesses. Usually treatment will consist of washing the skin with antibacterial soap, warm compresses, antibiotics, oral retinoid medications, such as Accutane, that help prevent the plugging of the sweat glands, and sometimes surgery to open or remove the abscess areas. It's probably best treated by a dermatologist or other doctor with some expertise in hydradenitis. If you smoke, stopping will help. Losing some weight may also help improve the condition. There is more information here Best wishes.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

But why would I have been referred to the Colorectal Unit at my local hospital?

I'm not sure, except that the colorectal doctor probably has experience with abscesses in the rectal area, and may even have expertise with hydradenitis suppurativa. If you do need surgery for your condition, a colorectal surgeon is probably as good as anyone.
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