I hope this is the right subforum for this. So like it says in the title - I've had a scab on my cheek from a pimple for almost 7 weeks now, and I'm getting very very scared that it's infected since it's been there for so long. If anyone has had any similar experiences or advice, that would be greatly appreciated.
Here is my long scab story (skip if you want to):
It started out as my failed attempt to extract a blackhead on my cheek a bit too harshly, which on the next day had become inflamed. It seemed like an ordinary - although fairly bad - pimple at this point. After a few days a scab developed over it. Swelling subsided in about 5-7 days, but the scab was still there. I've had scarring from scabs falling prematurely, so I took great care in preventing the scab from falling off early. Basically I've been very careful not to wash or wet the scab often, and kept a (thin, breathing) bandaid over it every night. At some point I tried keeping it moisturized, but I was worried it would make the scab fall off, so I stopped. The scab stayed on and on, for about three and a half weeks, until it finally fell (or was torn off by accident). The skin underneath looked very red, but not indented and not broken. Over the next few days the area rescabbed however, which has never really happened to me before. The new scab was thinner and looked quite unnoticeable, and at this point I wasn't really worried. It stayed for about a week and a half, after which my boyfriend accidentally tore it off. Once again, the new skin underneath looked very red, but not raw or indented. It rescabbed again during the next couple of days. This time the scab seemed a bit worse than the second scab, but not as bad or big as the first scab. Any redness I had around the scab to begin with had long since vanished. I've had the latest scab for about a week and a half now, and I think it's going to fall off fairly soon.
So, the scab I have now is small and does not look bad - if it had been there for three days, I wouldn't be worried in the least. It's not that noticeable that it would be embarrassing to go out in public or anything. However, it just recently occurred to me that taking 7 weeks to heal may not be normal anymore, and perhaps it simply isn't healing. The edges of the scab are slightly coming off now, and I can see a bit of the skin underneath it - and the skin is still bright red, and might rescab once the current one falls of. I'm getting very worried. I haven't at any point disturbed the healing process in any way, so I don't understand this. I did some researching online, and one possible explanation I could find was a staph infection. I don't really have experience in this though, and I'm not sure if it could be an infection, or if the normal healing process could just be taking so long for some reason. It has become better looking as opposed to getting worse and worse, but the rescabbing and the red skin underneath the scab make me very worried.
What do you think? What should I do?
I'm really frightened this would result in permanent scarring, and I would like this scab to heal as soon as possible. Do you think I should still just wait if it would heal on its own, or should I try to get a doctor's appointment asap and get on appropriate antibiotics for a staph infection? Does it sound like one? Has anyone else experienced something similar, and how did it go?
I'm sorry I don't have a picture to show, but there isn't really much to see anyway. This looks quite similar (the day 21 scab), but mine is even thinner and more harmless-looking. Based on just how the scab looks, you wouldn't think it was infected. It's just the fact that I've had it for so long and the fact that the skin underneath the edges is STILL bright red that implies the healing isn't going as it should, and I'm starting to get scared.
Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Thank you for reading.
Oh, I forgot to say in case it's relevant - a couple of weeks ago I got a prescription for tetracycline for my mild inflamed acne, and have been on it since. I haven't noticed any effects on the scab, but it's hard to say (I haven't noticed effects on my acne yet either). Initially, I was on the fence about going on antibiotics for my acne, but I thought it might be safest to stay on them at least until the scab has healed. Now that I've researched it and I'm starting to suspect staph, I'm not sure if my tetracycline would be of help though, as they're not the first choice of antibiotics used for a staph infection (however, I guess they might still help).
Edited by austra, 18 January 2013 - 08:28 PM.