Large, painful abscesses on legs and 'down there' - Fistulas or ongoing infection?

Hi everyone, my first time here. I had emergency surgery 8 months ago due to a ruptured abscess which I understand blew out my colon. I have had UC since I was a teen, am now 52. I also have something called fistula disease. I've been doing okay although I have developed a very large stomal hernia, but my question is this... I get these large, rather hard abscesses on my legs, and "down there" sometimes they just stay and go away with time, others get so painful I can hardly walk and eventually break open with a lot of blood and infection. I'm wondering if these are fistulas, or if they are an ongoing infection in my body. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, or if anyone else has ever experienced this? I went to a doctor once and he told me he didn't know what they were. I really don't want to see another doctor unless absolutely necessary. My ET nurses also don't know.
Hi - Whereabouts on the legs are these lumps? I have a friend who has abscesses like these, but these are mostly in the groin area and are called pilonidal abscesses, but could occur in any fleshy area I suppose where there is body hair?

Another one you could look up is Erythema Nodosum, but I don't think those tend to burst?
You can also get arterio-venous fistulae.

To be honest, I think it does need a doc to see these and find out what it is - if they are infected, you probably need some antibiotics and they must make you feel awful?

Good luck and keep us posted,

Rach xx
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Thanks Lottage Lady, I get them on the side of my thigh, these don't burst. The others are in my groin and they become huge, painful and burst within about 4-5 days. I think you're right though... I will go see a Doc. because my "home remedies" don't seem to be helping.


Hi Soapie - I knew I had something else in my head yesterday when I replied to you - have a look at Weber-Christian Disease - that sounds more like it!
Rach xx

Hi Soapie,

I am only new to this site and it sounds like you have already had very good advice from other members. But I thought I'd mention that I have had similar things over the years - I always called them boils, happening on my thighs, and 'down there' as you say, for some time. They were hugely painful and revolting when they did burst (but such a relief when they did!). Anyway, in my case, it was due to massive inflammation and infection from Crohn's, but as I was also on Humira (leaving my body open to any and every infection!), that was one of the results. So it may also be worth checking out your meds, etc., with your doctor for potential side effects, infection risk, etc.
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I was told by GI at Johns Hopkins that I have fistulating Crohn's disease. The Crohn's disease actually forms a channel of infection from your colon and it finds a way out. Due to gravity, it is usually in the worst private areas. They make some drawing salves and I usually sit in a hot bath or put on moist compresses to help draw it out. And yes, what a relief it is. I took Remicade and this is usually a help for fistulas, but I was allergic to it. I took Humira for a long time too and that helped some to me. Then I had ileostomy and am not taking meds for now. I am sure I will start when my GI finally gets me in for a follow-up oscopy appointment. I would recommend you see another doctor and see if they have treated fistulating Crohn's disease. You are normal, but you do not have to keep suffering with this.

Good luck,
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