ZocdocAnswersWhy do I get large sore pimples on my legs?

Question

Why do I get large sore pimples on my legs?

I'm a 32 year old woman who is overweight. I do a lot of walking during the day at work. I get large sore pimples on the inside of my legs. They rarely get a "head" on them. And sometimes take days or weeks to go away. They get very round and can get swollen at times. I am not taking any medications and have not seen a doctor for this problem.

Answer

This is a good question as this problem is quite common. Although it is impossible to give you a diagnosis without seeing your legs, from your description this sounds like boils which are caused by bacteria. They look like pimples or spider bites. Although you have been lucky that they have resolved on their own, occasionally one might get so large that it may need to be lanced and drained and antibiotics might be needed. It is important to see your primary care doctor to discuss your symptoms and more urgently if you develop a boil that is growing larger and not resolving as this can occasionally lead to a life threatening infection. It is possible that you have MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus), which is a strain of bacteria that is resistant to some commonly used antibiotics. To try to prevent the recurrence of your symptoms good hygiene is key. Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. Keep personal care items such as towels clean. Wash your pants often as these might be carrying bacteria. Keep any openings in your skin clean and covered until healed. Shaving might be contributing to your symptoms so be sure to always use a clean razor and do not shave when you have the boils. Of course, weight loss would be helpful for this problem as well as your general health.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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