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This forum is for questions regarding Dermatology issues, such as: rashes, acne, birthmarks, skin infections, rosacea, and general skin care.

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For the last few years, I've been getting boils in my groin and and on my butt.  Typically, they form along my butt crack (for lack of a better term) or in my groin (usually to the side where my thigh touches the groin area).  I've looked up a lot of info on herpes and my problem doesn't quite seem to match the photos or descriptions I've found for herpes.  For one thing, these boils leave scars that take a while to go away and I've found several sources that say herpes blisters don't typically leave scars.  Also, these boils vary in size between a pea and a dime.  What I've read seems to indicate that herpes blisters should come and go within 7 to 10 days.  Each one takes 2 to 3 weeks to form, drain, and heal...often leaving a small abcess (abscess) under the skin that goes away within another week or so.  I am obese and I smoke...2 factors which I've found cited as a leading cause of boils.  I've found that if I sit for a long time, these boils are more likely to appear so I've started to be more active and I've also lost some weight.  Also, I'm trying to quit smoking...  However, the boils are still coming on.  Also, they seem to come on shortly after trimming/shaving my groin area as well...often forming a hard not around a hair follicle first...but sometimes looking more like a pimple before coming to a head.  I've never discussed this with a doctor but I suppose that I should.  I am currently unemployed and do not have insurance so I can't pay to see one, though.  I'm mainly looking for peace of mind it more likely that I have herpes or just boils?  Would a herpes blister typically leave a hard abscess or a scar after healing on the surface?  Is there anything I can do to stop them from forming outside of getting medical treatment or prescriptions I can't afford?
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From the symptoms it sounds like boils or abscess. Boils are caused by infection of the hair follicle by staph aureus. . Hair follicles that are blocked by greasy creams, petroleum jelly, or similar products are more vulnerable to infection. Keep the area clean and apply warm compresses and some topical antiseptics. Also wear loose-fitting cotton clothing and use an antibacterial soap or mild soap like dove. Avoid any kind of cosmetics. Topical antibiotics such as Neosporin can also be used.

In case the symptoms persist then oral antibiotics may be needed. Please consult a dermatologist in that case. Also get your blood sugar levels done as recurrent boils are found in diabetes.

It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

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