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BCG scar has become infected two months later - why would it take so long?

(14 Posts)
mylittleman Tue 10-Jul-07 09:07:16

DS had his BCG vaccination on 16th May and all seemed totally fine (little bit red and raised for a while but nothing major). This weekend it suddenly became infected and now looks as though it is full of pus. Why has it taken almost 2 months to become infected?? He is now on antibiotics (and spits out 2.499999ml of the 2.5ml I have to give him each time!!)

MingMingtheWonderPet Tue 10-Jul-07 12:35:41

Hardly a representative sample, but this is exactly what happened to me when I had a BCG vaccination at school. Everything was fine until some time later I got hit on the arm by a rounders ball. It then got infected.
Just wondered if your lo managed to bang it at all, would be very easy to do.

welshprincess Tue 10-Jul-07 13:43:16

in my last job i used to give the bcg vac and my advice would always be it can takeup to 6 months to go through the 'healing' process. essentially what is happening is that your ds skin has been injected with a v small amount of live tb and allowing for an incubation period now the skin is showing a reaction. the body is now making antibodies against tb.
id be very careful about antibiotics. gp's tend to overreact by removing the pus and giving antibiotics which can undo the good of the vaccine.
is it red away from the site or in armpit? that would indicate a problem.
hope this is helpful. you could go back to the people who gave it or cantact the health protection agency for advice.

Belgianchox Tue 10-Jul-07 13:56:20

I will watch with interest, both my dcs had their BCG jab a month ago and one of them now has a raised red bump, no puss as yet but i'm watching. Our dr did warn that a reaction could take up to two months to appear if there was going to be one, though i'm not sure why this is. What is appropriate treatment if it does become infected? Has anyone already had this? FYI DS is 1yr old. TIA

welshprincess Tue 10-Jul-07 15:39:17

i would say that from what mlm says it is not infected, just normal. the skin is displaying signs of infection (pus etc) but is not infected as it is a controlled process. the skin has got a small bit of tb therefore acts to fight the 'infection' all the while the body is develpoing antibodies. in a way it has to get like this. true infection would show by redness/ swelling away from the injection site. if true infection id go back to where you got it done. most trusts have tb nurse you could chat to.

Belgianchox Tue 10-Jul-07 15:46:38

So a bit of swelling at the injection site is fine even a month later?

welshprincess Tue 10-Jul-07 16:35:09

yes if only at the site. think of it as a little tb blister.

mylittleman Tue 10-Jul-07 19:22:27

Thanks for this. Since this morning I have spoken to the health visitor that gave the jab and she said it was totally normal and no need to take antibiotics at all. I went back to the GP surgery and saw a different doc for a 2nd opinion who agreed with HV. I have not given him anymore of the antibiotics. I think it was a case of the GP overreacting.

cylonbabe Thu 12-Jul-07 21:29:52

what timing!

ds2 and dd had bcg vaccination middle of may as well. they both have what they call a volcano on their arms. with a bit of crusty yellowy pus in the middle. but dd's keeps disappearing, and at the moment she has a raised volcano with a substabtial open hole in it. looks terrifyiing. ds's is flattening and stretching a bit but isnt open thank god.

does this sound normal? from what you say it does, but it is really quite deep. i think she has scratche d the scab off, but not sure. what should i do?

cylonbabe Thu 12-Jul-07 21:30:31

oh, nothing other than at the site, as far as i can tell. she does have a cold, but i think that is complety unrelated.

mumsville Thu 12-Jul-07 21:50:50

I think it's normal. Mine was fine and then six weeks later lovely red blister appears - but I was told to expect this.

Also when bathing, do not rub the area dry with a towel.

Be warned my ds is now 14 months and the scar is only just starting to heal and is still quite red!

Semira Sun 15-Jul-07 10:09:08

My daughter had her BCG in Feb, it took about 6 weeks before it became like a big open volcano, with green puss in. The GP said this was normal (she had no fever so it was not an infection). I wasn't convinced and repeated to the GP, 'But it's green! Isn't that a sign of infection?' Apparently not. So I carried on as normal, never touched the site and bathed her as normal every night. Sure enough, it did start to heal up, the hole getting smaller and smaller. Everytime she had a bath (every night) it would open up again, but by mid June, it no longer opened and is fully 'healed'. She still has a big red lump though, hoping that will fade in time. Heard on TV a good thing for scars is to open up a vitamen E capsule and rub that in, which is what I'll be doing now that it has closed up.

andydicken Thu 08-Aug-13 10:37:55

Old thread I know but... Our little one's BCG site has just erupted across the bathroom! Health visitor is coming today. Why do they do it on the arm? If there's going to be a scar then isn't that a really silly place to do it???

ammorton Tue 14-Jun-16 23:49:12

I'm picking up on an older thread about BCGs. I got mine in the 1960's as a student nurse. It's in my upper lt arm, over the bicep and has quite a deep scar. It festered with green drainage for about 18 months when I got it. All of my classmates had similar reactions which we thought was odd but as I read your previous posts I realize that those reactions were probably normal.
I've had a problem with spasms in my lt bicep and tricep the last couple of weeks and have been getting help for it. But the big difficulty is that the
BCG scar has somehow got involved in this. It's incredibly painful, like it's in spasm, and won't let go. I can get the bicep and tricep to calm down
but not the scar so it wakes me at night. I'm not sleeping well.
So I'm wondering if anyone has an advice in how to manage this.
Thanks, Michel

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