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Do I have a serious skin problem?

Q: I am 35 years old. Last week, I scratched myself near the neck. But over the last few days this has developed into a reddish patch, about 2.5 cm in area. The skin is sensitive and aches with burning sensation when I turn my neck. There are 3 small white tipped blister kind of formations on it since last night. I have been putting Neosporin H over it. Please suggest an ointment or a suitable dermatologist I can consult?

A:You may be suffering from Folliculitis. It is an inflammation of one or more hair follicles. Folliculitis starts when hair follicles are damaged by friction from clothing, blockage of the follicle, or shaving. In most cases of folliculitis, the damaged follicles are then infected with the bacteria – like Staphylococcus aureus. Features include:

  • Rash (reddened skin area)
  • Pus filled lesions located around a hair follicle
  • Itchy skin
  • Sometimes pain
Treatment may include:
  • Topical antiseptic treatment is adequate for most cases
  • Topical antibiotics such as mupirocin ointment, Fusidic acid ointment or nadifloxacin ointment.
  • Systemic antibiotics if it is severe

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