KEEP-CLEAN

I am a male aged 20. My height is 5 feet, 4 inches and I weigh 68 kg. I have been constantly suffering from big sized pimples. It keeps erupting one after another over my body — back, thighs, neck, armpit, and many more places. These pimples do not resemble any of the kind that has been known in my society. I am practically more hygienic than people in my surroundings. I don’t know if this is because of my high fat level though my blood report is normal. These pimples are also kind of hereditary. I need some suggestion, please help.

— Anonymous

From your description you have a type of bacterial infection known as furuncles, pilo in Nepali. It is a type of folliculitis, where the infection involves the hair follicle and the perifollicular area. It presents as a small red mass, usually with a pus point and painful.

It is mainly due to a bacteria known as staphylococcus aureus.

When the bacteria find the necessary environment in the skin, furuncle starts. Improper hygiene is the major cause, but furuncles are equally common in persons who maintain good hygiene. Oily skin is a predisposing factor, which may also be due to unnecessary application of oily creams, vaseline and other oils. Application of certain medications such as topical steroids is another cause. Apart from this, defence mechanisms in the microenvironment of the skin and hereditary factors may have some role.

Bacterial infections are very common. They are contagious and transmit from one person to another and in the same person, from one site to another. In a country like ours, due to poor hygiene, bacterial infections are very widespread.

Prevention is the best cure. Maintaining good skin hygiene is very important.

How you keep your skin clean

• Do not use creams or use only when required. When required, it is better to use lotions.

• Avoid using cosmetics.

• Wash regularly, morning and evening, with normal soap.

As foruncle is a contagious disease, it is necessary to avoid sharing towels and other things. It is equally important to avoid direct contact with persons with furuncle.

Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment.

You would require systemic/oral antibiotics. One antibiotic may not be sufficient. This is mainly due to a phenomenon known as ‘antibiotic resistance’. In other words, due to widespread and inappropriate use of antibiotics, bacteria develop resistance in a very short period of time. Antibiotic treatment should be given only after culture and sensitivity test. So in your case, a more systematic antibiotic treatment may be beneficial.

You are a little overweight. But I do not think this has anything to do with your skin problem.

It is important that you have a dermatological consultation.