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Women's Health

Are Inner Thigh Bumps Normal?

08/04/2010

Question:

Before and during my menstrual cycle, I get dime-sized bumps on my inner thighs and occasionally under my arms and on my abdomen. Whenever I get these they are not painful to the touch, but if my clothing rubs against them it causes GREAT discomfort. They appear about 4 days before, and go away usually 2 days after, and don`t seem to have any type of fluid in them. The ones on my thighs hurt so bad, I`ve had to put band-aids on them when I wear jeans. Is this normal? And is there something I could do to stop/prevent this from happening?

Answer:

It is very difficult to diagnose any kind of skin lesion without actually seeing it. However, a skin disorder has symptoms similar to what you are describing called hidradenitis suppurativa, or HS.

HS is a condition, in which small abscesses form under the skin in the armpits and groin, which can often be quite painful and disfiguring. Although they are not necessarily related to hormones, some women experience these lesions just around the time of menses. Because the cause is unknown, HS can be difficult to treat. Usually treatment is directed towards eliminating or suppressing skin bacteria that can make the abscesses worse and some women will improve with medicine that suppresses the menstrual cycle. In severe cases, surgery is needed to remove the skin glands that get infected.

More information about HS is available from the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation, at: 
http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/hidradenitis-suppurativa/DS00818/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print

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Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University