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  1. #1
    PCOS Cyster For Life! Jennifer Marshall's Avatar
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    Question PCOS and Boils? Just curious?

    Idk if this could be related since my mom and my grandma both got them but they were also diabetic so I figured I'd ask here also... I get them alot in my inner thigh area and also on the "va-jay-jay" does this happen to any of you women also? Nothing to serious for me, I just soak in very hot baths and use heating pads and wet wash rags to get them to form to a head in order to break them... Just curious if anyone else has them...
    Jenny (23)
    PCOS Dx: 2006

  2. #2
    Registered User Sandygirly's Avatar
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    I get them under my breasts sometimes...I usually just put a warm washcloth on mine and pop them too. lol I think they are related to pcos, i've seen a lot of women on here talk about having the same issue.

  3. #3
    PCOS Cyster For Life! Jennifer Marshall's Avatar
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    Oh. I figured it was related to being diabetic because of my Gma and Mom.
    Jenny (23)
    PCOS Dx: 2006

  4. #4
    Lady of Leisure GlitterStar's Avatar
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    It's likely that it's not boils but rather hidradenitis suppurativa. And yes, it's common with PCOS. One of the causes is due to hormonal imbalances, especially in the adrenals. Adrenals and ovaries work hand in hand with the testosterone and we know that's usually an issue in PCOS as well. They can also feed off of the IR and diabetes that PCOS can cause so it's another reason why they're common with PCOS. They do resemble boils in many ways but boils are caused by a staph infection and can be contagious whereas HS is a non-contagious skin infection. The staph in boils can also be easily spread to a person's bloodstream or vital organs and really do damage if not properly treated whereas HS is not such a threat. It's annoying and painful but not dangerous as far as getting in your blood and infecting you elsewhere. Boils can also be on all parts of the body; arms, legs, torso, back, whereever. HS is usually confined to underarms and groin and under the breasts where sweat glands are more likely to get clogged and exacerbate the issue.

    Although HS isn't contagious, it should still be treated (Metformin was enough to stop mine; haven't had one since I started taking it) because they can cause really bad scarring. They also can build "tracts" under your skin connecting one infection to another and basically making a giant, non-stop issue with them and remission gets less and less possible as the tracts form. And while HS in and of itself is not really a contagion, because it created open lesions, you need to make sure you're caring for it so that bacteria doesn't get inside and create a bacterial infection. So, you definitely want to take care of them. Warm water and heating pads to bring them to a head is what my doctor recommended for me as well. Just let them burst on their own though; don't pop them. Then, once they do pop, use Neosporin or other bacterial protectant and cover with a bandange until healed. It will help them heal quicker to prevent the tract formation and will also help prevent scarring.
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  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to GlitterStar For This Useful Post:

    ameliapaige (07-23-2012),Jennifer Marshall (08-19-2011),lady_chance (08-19-2011)

  6. #5
    PCOS Cyster For Life! Jennifer Marshall's Avatar
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    Oh wow! That was alot of information.. Thank you so much!
    Jenny (23)
    PCOS Dx: 2006

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    Lady of Leisure GlitterStar's Avatar
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    You're welcome. Unfortunately, and this may be TMI lol, but I've had a lot of experience with both over the years. HS was one of my first symptoms of PCOS. My doctor just kept telling me I was too fat and since they were on my inner thighs, the reasoning was that they were rubbing together too much and causing the problem. Once I was taken seriously by a doctor and diagnosed with PCOS and IR and put on Met, they stopped almost immediately. But by that time, they'd left some really nasty scars.

    Then, my experience with boils came from my mom. She was in a bad motorcycle accident and got some severe road rash. 3 days later my dad had a heart attack. Her doctor and the hospital all told her do NOT come visit. With the open burns on her body, she was too at risk for staph infections. But, she couldn't keep away and went anyway and sure enough, she got staph. She broke out in boils and it made me cry just looking at her. My HS was painful and nasty to deal with but compared to true boils, they were nothing! They were much smaller and less painful and treatable at home w/o prescription medications. I had to go to the doctor with my mom for treatment for them and he'd had to lance them open and let them weep and they were all over body; arms, legs, back, stomach, everywhere. And HUGE. OMG, seriously, they were about the size of 2 silver dollars combined. She'd just grit her teeth and do her best but some days she couldn't help bursting into tears they were so painful. The doctor had to show me how to help her take care of them at home between her visits to him and I was told to wash my hands with special antibiotic soap that he gave us before and after and to use gloves because it was contagious. The hospital also wouldn't let my dad come home even after he was well enough because just having a heart attack and her having staph and boils, they couldn't risk him getting it too. She had to be on all kinds of antibiotics and had to go in for blood tests weekly to make sure the infection wasn't spreading to her organs. Ugh, it was mess dealing with that on her side and then trying to protect my dad from it and get him home at the same time. Boils also take a very, very long time to heal and go away. With my HS, once it popped it was over with and it would start to heal but her boils, we didn't think she was ever going to get rid of them. Just when we'd think one was starting to go away after it had been lanced and treated with ointments, it would start right back up again. The first 2 months were the worst. It finally started really getting under control in month 3 and slowly, one by one they started healing and going away, but occasionally a new one would come up. All in all it took about 6 months for her to fully get over the staph infection. Then because she was on heavy duty antibiotics that whole time she dealt with yeast infections and a few other small side issues on top of it all.

    Granted, she had open wounds, which most people don't when they have a boil so that probably contributed to her more painful experience and likely also made it harder to get rid of for her compared to most, but even at that - I'll gladly take my HS over a real boil any day!
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  8. #7
    PCOS Cyster For Life! Jennifer Marshall's Avatar
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    Wow! Thats horrible! Maybe mine is just HS then? They are small and though painful as hell.. I only get them in those two areas.. inner thighs and on the vag...
    Jenny (23)
    PCOS Dx: 2006

  9. #8
    Registered User zigzag's Avatar
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    As an adult, I'll occasionally get a small or medium boil on my v-jay-jay area. I get this perhaps 1-3 times per year MAX. Sometimes I think it's because if I exercise too much or wear the wrong underwear that it causes this though.
    • Me SAHM 36, DH 41, Beautiful DS born 2012
    • Conceived on 2nd round of Clomid + trigger after 3 years TTC naturally
    • Metformin 1700 mg, multivitamin once daily, omegas
    • Lost all my baby weight 7 months PP - 66kgs/145lbs.
    • THEN put on a load - now the heaviest I've been in years - 76kgs/167 lbs.
    • Back on Weightwatchers

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  10. #9
    diagnosed pcos May 2011 lady_chance's Avatar
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    Glitterstar~ You took the words right out of my mouth! My doctor put me on an antibiotic and I haven't had one in months- what a relief! She diagnosed me with HS and was so kind about it. She really felt awful for me that I had to go through that. So my advice to OP- go see your doctor about it!!!! It's worth it. Good luck!

  11. #10
    Registered User kychica718's Avatar
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    Hmm, this is interesting. I will have to look up the HS. All these years, I thought the cellulitis/folliculitis I am prone to on my thighs was completely unrelated to the PCOS. Well, sort of. I thought it was from all the shaving because of the hirsutism because of the PCOS, so of course, it is all a chain reaction. If it does turn out to be HS, then that, for me too, would have been one of my first VISIBLE/tangible PCOS symptoms.

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