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Bump with red area above elbow without pain. Cause.

Resolved Question:

I have a bump with a red area that surrounds it on my right arm just above the elbow. Was wondering what it was and if I should go to urgent care? I first noticed it this morning and the red area has grown a little bit over the last 12 hours but not very much. The area is a little tender and the white portion in the middle hurts. My arm does not hurt and I am not running a fever.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist
Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.

Thank you for your query at
I understand your concern.
Did you have any trauma in that site? Or was there a hair follicle at that site, or was there any shaving done in that area? It looks like an abscess and if the size stabilises then local application of Neosporin or Mupirocin ointment will be helpful. But if it keeps increasing in size, it may need an incision and drainage by a general surgeon.
These kind of swellings are common with infected hair follicles, which occur secondary to shaving, due to Staph. Aureus infection.
So to summarise you don't need to go to urgent care right away. Start applying the ointment, for which you need a prescription from a local physician. In case the size keeps increasing, then you need to visit the ER for an Incision and Drainage.
Feel free to discuss further,

Patient replied :

I haven't done any shaving in the area. Black widows and other spiders are however very common in my area so I was worried it might be a spider bite. This morning the white blister in the center has grown a millimeter or two while the larger red area seems to be about the same size.

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 3 Days.

In case of a black widow spider bite, the symptoms will be more generalised such as chills, fever, headache, and the redness and swelling will keep on increasing.
Also the good thing most such spider bites can't break through the skin. It happens very rarely and when it does the bite has to be pretty severe, in which case you would have definitely noticed.
The growing white blister indicates pus, so i will advise you to start apllying Neomycin or Mupirocin ointment. If possible also clean the area with betadine solution first before applying the ointment.
It is a skin infection secondary to staphylococcus aureus. 3-4 days of ointment application will be able to bring down the swelling.
Feel free to discuss further,

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist
MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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