The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi!

I just want to say that your web site has been very helpful and challenging to me as a teenaged Christian.

I have just recently noticed a bump under my left nipple. I am around Tanner Stage 5 in growth and stuff. I am seventeen years old. I am quite certain it is not gynecomastia. I went through gynecomastia a bit in middle school, and this is not it. It is not in the center, but rather under the areola of the left nipple. It is maybe a pea-sized lump that is sore to the touch. It almost feels like a nasty pimple in its swollen, unpoppable stages. I have moderate facial acne, but have not had much trouble with body acne. I have been hoping that this is only a clogged duct or ingrown hair or some acne-like thing because I can just wait for that to go away on its own. I have been squeezing on the bump a bit, hoping to get some pus out. Nothing has come out, but I have put a dab of a 5% Benzoyl Peroxide cream on it in hopes that it would speed the process.)

My only concern is that this may be some form of male beast cancer. I don't believe it is, but my brain can get carried away sometimes and really freak me out. Can you suggest anything that I can do to make sure that it is just fine? Is it even possible to get a pimple or cyst under the nipple? There does not seem to be much info on this subject. I will keep an eye on it over the next few days. Thanks for everything!


Answer

Cancers are a common fear, but they are rare. They also are relatively slow growing, so something that suddenly appears is not likely to be cancer. I assume you see this on the surface of your skin, so the most likely answer is a clogged oil gland (i.e. acne). If it doesn't resolve itself in a week, then plan on seeing a doctor, but I suspect it will start healing before then.

A more important concern is that it could be a staph infection. Staph in the early stages looks like a large pimple. It is due to concerns about staph that people are told not to attempt to squeeze an infection because it is possible to drive the infection deeper into the body. If your bump develops deep, painful abscesses (craters) in your skin, you need to see a doctor soon.

As you predicted, the swelling went down and the bump disappeared. Sorry for troubling you. Your answer really calmed me down and relieved my anxiety.

Through prayer and meditation on God's Word, I am becoming less anxious. Your web site really helps.

Thanks!