***Edit added 9/17/09:
I'm healed! Thank you all so much for your helpful advice. I went 811, stopped shaving, increased my exercise, and stopped using natural deodorant. Any my husband still loves me (despite years of playful jibes that he would divorce me if I ever stopped shaving my pits or wearing deodorant). Hairy pits aren't so bad...so far. :)***end edit
About 1.5 years ago, I switched from regular deodorant to Herbal Magic
. I stopped using chemical products in my home and on my person. I couldn't handle going completely without any deodorant at all, since I was not and am not a fruitarian. I only started adding more fruit and cutting back on fats a few months ago, and I had been eating cooked vegan food once or twice a week for a while.
I have had a small, hard lump under my armpit for a long time, maybe even years. Right next to it is a little indentation. I thought it was scarring from an ingrown hair. About a month or so ago, I think I got curious about the lump and I prodded it a little. Well, it got inflamed. Then I shaved and I think I scratched it, so it got red. Then I sweated (the natural deodorant doesn't stop sweat at all), and it got itchy. And it gets worse every day.
I thought it was an ingrown hair so I tried to exfoliate using a scrubby. That just made all kinds of red bumps appear, which got worse every time I shaved, or didn't shave. It got worse when I used natural deodorant, and even when I used no deodorant. Actually, It gets much worse when I don't shave because the little hairs poke, and when I sweat it gets really itchy. When I do shave, it's hard to avoid scratching the bumps, so it hurts either way. Sometimes it itches so bad, I can't help but scratch and it gets really inflamed.
So now I have all kinds of red, hard, itchy bumps. They hurt. They don't seem to be ingrown hairs. My sweat smells like celery. It's stronger on the side with the bumps. It's not an unpleasant odor. It's kind of nice, actually. I eat a lot of cilantro, basil and other greens, so I guess my sweat just smells like my food. I wash my armpits several times a day because I don't like the moisture and it starts to smell if I let the bacteria grow.
I did some online research and I think its HS
This scares me. I looked up pictures of HS and they are seriously nasty. Mine isn't so bad yet. It gets pretty red and swollen at certain times. My concern is that the web sites say it only gets worse and is incurable. The treatments they mention include antibiotics and surgery.
What really gets me is that all this got bad after I went raw and stopped using deodorant, which makes me think it could be detox. My symptoms match HS, which is blocked sweat glands. It seems to me that the sweat glands were blocked when I was using regular deodorant for 20 years. Yet now that I let myself sweat naturally, I have this problem, which I didn't have when I was using chemicals.
For the past two weeks I have been all raw and working to reduce my fat intake. I made an appointment with a dermatologist (2 weeks from now). I am going to stop using natural deodorant and stop shaving. I'm going to use liquid Dr. Bronners soap several times a day to cut down the risk of bacterial infection. I'm going to increase my exercise and get some bouncing to pump my lymph, and I am going to see if a splash of apple cider vinegar helps. I always wear tank tops because it's really hot here, but I think I may start wearing cotton or bamboo t-shirts to help absorb some of the moisture. Moisture makes me itchy, and scratching makes it worse. The web sites say not to shave, so I guess I am going to have to wear short sleeves anyway because I don't want anyone to see my sweaty, hairy, bumpy armpits.
Do any of you have any advice or suggestions?