I am a seventeen-year-old female. I've always had mild acne, flaring up about once a month, but never anything severe. Over a month ago, however, a large red lump appeared on the side of my face. It started as a regular pimple, but that went away and a lump appeared in its place, growing in size for a couple of weeks before it stopped. It has no head and it's firm but pliable. Recently it's become painful to the touch. It's not bright red, instead it's more of a dark red, almost purpley at times. Every once and a while the swelling goes down a little, but it usually flares up once more.
A dermatologist told me it was just acne and gave me a cortisone shot, but that only worked for a week or so before it returned to its original size. I really don't feel it's acne, but I also can't find any condition that seems to describe it. I've tried warm compresses, and initially that helped soothe the pain and even reduced the swelling a little, but now nothing seems to help it.
Also, it's shiny at times, especially after I've taken a hot shower.
Here's a picture: http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/1065/lumpxt.jpg
Well, without a clinical evaluation it would be difficult to determine the cause of the lump; though this looks less like a acne and more like an abscess with possible bleeding in the cavity or a growth from the skin or underlying tissue. It may require drainage/ excision/ systemic antibiotics. It would be best to get this evaluated by a primary care physician or a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.
Hope this is helpful.
Thank you for your response. I wanted to give an update for anyone who happens to be experiencing the same thing, because I have found very little on this particular problem.
I went to the dermatologist a few days after posting this. He described it as a fluid-filled cyst that would likely need excision. We scheduled a tentative surgery date, and he put me on two rounds of Cephalexin. The growth started shrinking and then a tiny hole opened up and really gross watery yellow goo--a lot of it--drained out. It flattened out and turned a grayish purple color. I have completed the first ten-day treatment now. It's been a few days and the growth has begun to refill, though not as big as before. Hopefully I can get a refill of the antibiotic soon, though I doubt that will be enough to get rid of it.
Hi there, I realize this is an old post however, I was hoping you might be able to let me know if the antibiotics was enough or did you need to have it excised. You have described exactly what my daughter is experiencing now. She is day three on cephalexin, however, the lump is getting bigger and darker in color.
Yes! While the antibiotic reduced the size, it did not get rid of the lump. I eventually went through with the excision. My doctor said that most of what remained was scar tissue but he did scrape away parts of the cyst as well. He said that there was still a possibility it could come back. This happened last February, and while it did not return, I do notice my acne tends to linger there longer, making me wonder if they're not acne but miniature versions of the larger cysts. Also, I have a fairly big and noticeable scar which is still prominent a year later. I probably should had the procedure done through plastic surgery, because they would have been more careful in leaving a scar. Still though I'm just glad I no longer have the lump on my face, that looked stranger than the scar. Hope this helps you! Good luck to you and your daughter!
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