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Armpit conditions...
Jul 4, 2006

This website has been a wonderful resource of information as I have come here to educate myself many times. Now, I have a question that I haven't seen addressed. I am HIV+ about six years and I have a good doctor.

A little background for you, finding the right combination of medications was a long process but currently, things are amazing. No side effects, and my numbers are better than ever.

About four years ago I broke out with very strange pimples on left side of body trunk with one "mother of all pimples" in my left armpit. The pimple in my armpit actually turned out to be a boil, and my Doctor diagnosed and treated me for folliculitis. Things healed nicely except for the "mother of all pimples". It did drain but there is an area about 2.5 inches by 1.5 inches where it was located that to this day (four years later) is still red, puffy, and always has an underlying itch. However if I happen to rub it while bathing, or dressing, I can't seem to stop scratching. It feels so good, it feels better than any orgasm until I've ripped the skin off of it. My doctor never really figures things out exactly, and has given me topical ointments for the itching... but it never goes away. I've read here that boils aren't an underlying result of HIV infection, but what about it's inability to heal?

Over the years I've brought it to the attention of my doctor and there have been some serious complications along the way which require immediate attention (kidney failure, Shingles) so the fact that he doesn't prioritze this as his number one priority is understandable. Perhaps something in your response will give me the terminology to use next time I see him. Thank you so much for attention.

Response from Dr. Conway

The condition you describe sounds like hidradenitis. It starts out as a simple infection in a hair follicle and perhaps involving the local lymph node. It is common in the groin, but also affects the axillae or armpits. It is caused by bacteria, and once they are established in the long run, they cna be difficult to definitively eradicate. The best approach is to keep the area cool and well ventilated, especially in these summer months. Some drainage along with a long course of antibiotics may be requirede to deal with this once and for all. Good luck!!!



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