Dermatology Community
53.6k Members
Avatar universal

Body Sores

Approximately 2 months ago I went to a general practitioner for what appeared to be some type of small circular bites on random areas of my body. They were always very small in diameter, did not itch but were quite painful. Perhaps 25% of them would fill with puss and all would diminish within 2-5 days, leaving a slightly brown discoloration on my skin. The doctor had no ideas what they might be and explained that unless they were able to drain one of them they could not test it for various types of infection. Foliculatus was ruled out because of the amount and frequency and random locations (many of which have little to no hair growth). Then after approximately 1 month the occurrences stooped. Just this week they have returned (7 in 2 days). 1 is on the back of my thigh and is so painful I can barely tolerate sitting. I have no exposure to animals within my home or really at all, I had not changed my diet or soaps, etc. I keep a clean home and change my bedding weekly, not to mention that they do not always occur in my home or during sleeping hours. I have other symptoms such as excessive fatigue, sporadic low-grade fevers, to name a few but do not know if they are related or just co-existing. I am a 32 year old female, ovo-lacto vegetarian, 115 lbs., 5 feet 2 inches. If someone might give my some ideas as to what this might be and what steps to take next, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
7 Responses
Avatar universal

Firstly , I suggest a blood test . A complete blood count to check for any acute infectious process may help. Also, parasitic infections may be noted through the blood count. A urinalysis and chest radiograph may also be necessary. We are trying to rule out a focus of infection here. A culture of the discharge will be necessary to identify the organisms involved and to eventually help guide treatment.

Is there any strong history of diabetes in the family?

Any other history of skin infections like fungal infections before?

Any exposure to mites and other persons with known infections?
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your response. It certainly gives m some guidance. I actually went to the local health clinic yesterday and the doctor was able to see several of them in various sizes. Unfortunately no culture could be taken because none had any puss at the time. She kept saying how strange it was. We discussed mites and allergens. I reminded her that several months prior I had been exposed to staph at work. she told me she was ruling staph out because they typically dissipate within 2-5 days and do not spread and likewise that she believed it was not foliculitis due to the fact that they present in all parts of my body, especially areas that do not maintain moisture, etc. she asked for me to wait while she looked something up. 15 minutes later she returned and said, "I really don't know what it could be [pause] it is so strange [pause] your best bet is probably foliculitis. I can give you an oral antibiotic or a topical one like bactoban and hopefully that will take care of any infection that may be present or underlying". I responded by telling her I am not opposed to medications however I am opposed to taking antibiotics if indeed they are not necessary and unless she knows what the issue is it would seem irrational to take one. I happened to have her give me a urinanalysis due to some painful urination I started experiencing this week which shoulded a slight elevated white blood cell count so she prescribed ,e a wide spectrum antibiotic. I know that further testing is likely the best option however I am presently uninsured and simply cannot afford such. I have no known history of diabetes or skin or fungal infections in my family. I have been having some odd symptoms which I wanted to discus with the doctor I saw last but I did not get the opportunity. Equally I was apprehehensive because I like to find logical reasons to ailments versus assuming the worst. For approximately 2 weeks now my legs hurt terribly. The discomfort gradually increases throughout the day as I am on my feet more, becoming noticeable 2-4 hours after waking. By evenings end I can barely tolerate standing and even being off them at that point is painful. My first thought is that some of my shoes are not supportive in the arches so I started wearing my running shoes more (I have fairly high foot arches) but it does not seem to be helping. Also, in the last 4 months I have rapidly gained almost 20 lbs. without my diet having changed. I still am active though slightly less than before but the most distressful part is that I have lost most of my muscle mass and simple tasks wear on me strangely. Please help if you can I feel desperate and increasingly depressive. I have a vibrant little girl and a great job working to help others but I feel as if I am slowly falling apart at the seams.
More info: I drink coffee approximately 4X/week, I do not smoke (quit in October 2008), I am required to spend approximately 2-3 hours/day on the computer or at a desk, I rarely drink alcohol or soda but my water intake could be better (1 drink approximately 40 fluid ounces/day of water + other beverages), I have early onset osteoarthritis due to bone spurs in the upper column of my spine.
Avatar universal

Which came first, the leg pains or the skin condition?

Have you discussed with your physician  regarding antibiotic use?

At this point, what you have may not be readily diagnosed.You might rquest for an infectious disease specialist referral just to have this checked.Blood tests to rule out Lyme disease and other infections may be necessary.A complete blood count may be able to determine if a current parasitic or bacterial infection is likely. There are several differentials to be noted here. Among those will be the erythematous (reddish) skin conditions like erythema multiforme, erythema nodosum, an urticaria and vasculitides (vascular diseases).

The differentials I have mentioned are merely differentials. At this point, I feel that you may want to try out the antibiotic medications your physician has prescribed you. Diagnosis at this point may not be available and with the way you have described the skin condition progressing with pus, this may have an infectious component .
Avatar universal
Again, thank you for your response.
I went ahead and filled to prescription for the antibiotic and have been taking it for several days plus I have been using the topical. Thus far it is hard to tell if it is having a positive affect or not but hopefully it will soon.
To answer your question, the sores came before the leg pain and the leg pain continues to get worse.
Likewise, I continue to lose muscle mass making it hard to do practical things with ease and as my weight continues to slightly increase week by week I find it harder to function as I would normally (I am simply not accustomed to having extra pounds). I do not take birth control anymore and have been abstinent for an upward of 7 months.
Perhaps such details are unimportant but I do not know what may or may not be related. Thanks again...........
Avatar universal
Well unfortunately I am back. I finshed the antibiotics and approximately 3 days after finishing them the sores began to slowly appear again. This morning I woke with 3 new ones (2 on upper arm, 1 on stomach) (1 with a small white pustale). By 5 PM I had developed 2 more (1 on abdomen and one mid-side back); they all hurt terrible and none are very large in size but of course very red. Legs still hurt tremendously and I have noticed the development of tiny "spider" veins around my ankles and knes and some of my thigh. HELP! The doctor here has no idea what this could be and I cannot afford to do completely in debt to a potentially more skilled one.
Avatar universal

Based on what you have posted, this appears to be infectious in origin. But the question is what? Is this viral, fungal or even parasitic? You have two main conditions here: the skin rash or bumps and the leg pain. We need to determine if these two are separate entities or are associated with each other.

What you have posted may suggest Lyme disease, SLE, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, and viral infections like Ebstein Barr virus and Parvoviruses. I know how concerned you are about this already. However, if it is feasible, I feel you need to see an infectious disease specialist. The bumps have to be assessed. They are painful thus, they may be a manifestation of an acute disease process. Do you have any anemia? The patency of  blood vessels on your lower extremities also need to be assessed.

Have an Answer?
Top Dermatology Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions