Thyroid UK
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Treatment for absess/ infected cyst? Starting to panic!

Hi. I have an infected cyst in my armpit and it is leaking. I've seen the doc and a nurse and have penicillin. I'm worried that it is not draining properly, I am using hot saline on a flannel, with Milton fluid to sterilise said flannel, between approx 2 hour cleaning/ compress treatments. Plus diluted TCP when finished.There is a white track now when I raise my arm, about half way to the elbow. It is sore but no feeling of pressure. I am not squeezing it as I want it oozing into the open, rather than into my bloodstream. Have a dull ache in that arm (left) plus sore left side. Initially felt nauseous but now OK.

Am I doing the right thing? Was given no definite guidance and its a bank holiday.When I've had dental absesses before penicillin made them worse. Infection returned with a vengance after course finished. I needed a Metronidazole because I couldn't persuade my dentist to take the tooth out out and the infection spread. Had a second dentist who did remove the tooth, even though there was still some infection.. Huge relief but there was some root left. It did solve the problem and I decided not to have surgery to get the root removed. This was about 2 years ago and I've been OK since then.

How sad is this.I just feel very isolated. And smelly and lonely. Zero energy. Plus not sure whether this shoud be drained? Strongly suspect that the whole cyst may need to be removed but the infection would not then be isolated. Any experiences, ideas?

Should add that I seem to have many symptoms of diabetes although bloods are normal.

10 Replies

How long has this been going on and when did you start antibiotics.?


Clarythromycin seems to clear up absess' and cysts without draining I think.

Good luck.


If you have any doubts go to the hospital, better to be safe than sorry!




Did they send off a swab of the stuff coming out? If not, you won't know if you are on the correct antibiotics.

The fact that you feel unwell makes me think you should seek medical advice sooner rather than later. You have my every sympathy- I have an eyelid cyst and its driving me crazy. Goodness knows how awful yours must feel.


100% agree.

It should be standard, now we are in the era of antibiotic resistance and have policies of using only the right antibiotic(s), to send samples for testing. In an entirely unrelated scenario, I have recently seen exactly that - try one antibiotic in order to ensure survival of patient, test, switch to another. (Might actually have been a second switch but not sure.)

I have NO knowledge of treating infected cysts. But you absolutely must not be struggling by on guesswork. You could be making things worse but with the best of intents.

Although much derided, I would considered using the new 111 service or NHS Direct if still applicable in your area.



Thanks for all the replies. Feeling generally better but still worried. My GP is very good re the thyroid but was very vague when I asked what the infection was. I asked if it was an absess or infected cyst, and he shrugged. He deferred to the nurse, who also didn't seem clear on what to do, possibly due to lack of direction from the GP.

There are several GPs at the surgery and mine is split between two, so think I'll book at the last possible minute on Tuesday in order to get a different doctor.


I just don't want the wait and see on penicillin as it has made me very ill with dental absesses. Perhaps this isn't the same though.


Think its possible that the doc doesn't know about anti bios prescribed by the dentist.


Ask for a wound swab to be sent off- its the only way of telling what the infection is and whether you are on the right treatment. It would actually save the nhs money too as they won't then be prescribing needless antibiotics! I'm glad you feel a bit better- typical that it's bank holiday though.


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