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ColdHoneydew

Tiny white plugs

Hello, 
I've been having this problem for a number of years now and have yet to find an answer. 
I often get hard lumps or what I think is going to be a huge spot. However if I squeeze them, as well as popping like a normal spot, the top layer of skin comes off and I'm left with an open sore. Inside this sore are little white plugs that seem to be growing out of the pores. There are usually a number of them in one sore. These cannot be squeezed out like a regular blackhead or whitehead they seem to be stuck in there and the only way to get them out is with a pair of tweezers or to really dig them out with an implement. This of course leaves a scar but until these little white plugs are out, the sore won't heal. I have tried just leaving them to see if they will heal and go away on their own but they don't. The sore remains open and weepy with these little grains of rice sticking out of them! So I resort to digging them out and once they are out of the pore there's usually a gush of blood but that stops quite suddenly. It reminds me of a verruca if anyone has ever pulled a plug out from that... 
I mostly get these on my chin but also sometimes on my nose and chest. I know that a dermatologist may be able to help me but I don't have any money right now and I am on sickness benefits as I have M.E.
Does anyone have any idea what these things are? They're kind of jelly like and slightly stretchy. The tweezers just seems to take the head of them off more often than not hence the digging which I absolutely hate but it seems to be the only way to get them out and once they are out the sore will heal. 
I have attached picturesof them on my hand after I get them out, sorry for the super close ups! 

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Hi ColdHoneydew
Any progress on your situation?  I have the exact same problem, ( thanks for the excellent pictures).  It is somewhat comforting to know someone else is going through the same thing, but sooo frustrating as there doesn't seem to be any answers.

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Nice to know I am not the only one with this problem I have thick scabs and attached to the scab are thease white plugs one got so big I had to have a plasic surgeon cut it out biopsy came back a basal cell cronoma but even after the surgery it come back I've tried everything I have the sores all over my legs am no dr takes me seriously I have major medical problems tho so this skin issue sucks but it could be worse I've researched and researched and can't find anything but read lots of stories of people with the same problem it is nice to know I'm not alone 

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Edited by Control Panel
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I've had the same thing for a couple years. FINALLY found a doctor to listen to me. Mine is 
Malassezia. 


I started taking 200 mg daily of Ketoconazole with Ketoconazole cream topically twice a day. 
Within 2 days, I noticed my sores were "different". Not better, not worse, but the plugs were just falling out.

By day 5 of medication, the sores looked infected.....do not fall for the standard "here's an antibiotic. Stop picking." ANTIBIOTICS MAKE THEM WORSE!!!

I felt awful and was very discouraged, but hung in. I began washing my face twice a day with a Sulfur shampoo. Left it on for about 3 min, then washed with Hibicleanse.  There is no way to tolerate the pain and inflammation of the sores as the medication kicked in without removing the plugs. It was very important to keep the sores clean and lightly mositurized. I use Aquaphor. It doesn't contain the oils that the fungus feeds on. 

By day 7, the sores were smaller. Still producing a lot of discharge. My face had red areas everywhere the little buggers were lying in wait. That lasted only one day and never opened. My lymph nodes were swollen around my neck and jaw for a couple days. That resolved on its own. Things are improving every day.

By day 10, sores are significantly better and the rest my skin looks normal! I didn't realize how puffy my skin was and how large my pores were. That's gone. 
The sores are now less deep and the plugs are fewer. They are also a different shape than they were. That being said, the plugs that are now coming to the surface are the Mother ships of each sore. They are HUGE....WIDE,  painful until they are out. They bleed profusely then several other larger plugs seem to easily come out....then, the sore almost magically shrinks. 

Ill continue exactly what I described above until the last sore is closed. Then I plan to continue the oral Ketoconazole 200 mg twice weekly, then, if no new sores come, once weekly.

Praise God! 

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Omg I have this same problem. I’ve had it for years everyone tells me I’m crazy basically. What the heck are these? I’ve searched and searched for answers.
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A0CEBFDF-DA41-4AA8-9F67-A1D8D9B1E835.jpeg

Edited by Control Panel
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I have the exzact same plugs and was told it was cytic acne and then another dermatologist said she didnt know. I dont get huge nodules or anything just a few small pimplew but if I try to pop it takes the layer of skin off and all these plugs are in them and it has caused severe ocd picking trying to get all them out my pores. It freaking sucks 

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Has anyone figured this out because it’s been driving me insane. I’m 27 and this literally happened out of nowhere to me. I have Always had perfect skin. Never had a pimple in my life that I can remember. A few months ago I got A bump on my face and started scratching it. Turned into a scab that I picked. Then on my chest there was a random hair that kind of looked in grown so I pulled It out and then it turned into a scab. Again I picked it and now I’m left with this disgusting thing on my chest and I am pulling these white plugs out of it. I’ve pulled them
out with my finger nails and tweezers and they itch like crazy until I do. But then around them keeps itching because there are more and more ugh. This grosses me
Out And theyre on my own body. Help!
 

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Edited by Armenian

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I've had these too!! They showed up out of the blue with one randomly on my leg. Now whenever I get a cut or bite I have to battle these damn plugs forever!  The wound will start to scab or heal over only to have to have these pulled out. Dermatologist was no help. Any help is greatly welcomed.

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@ColdHoneydew did you ever get a diagnosis or find a cure? I, too, have this condition. It's like having a splinter or piece of glass embedded in my face. The "pimple" won't heal until I pull out the plug...which can be a challenge. When I pull it out, it leaves behind a hole that bleeds profusely, but the pain is gone.  By the next day it has scabbed over and is on the mend.

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On 1/28/2018 at 1:57 AM, Problemchildrk said:

I've had the same thing for a couple years. FINALLY found a doctor to listen to me. Mine is 
Malassezia. 


I started taking 200 mg daily of Ketoconazole with Ketoconazole cream topically twice a day. 
Within 2 days, I noticed my sores were "different". Not better, not worse, but the plugs were just falling out.

By day 5 of medication, the sores looked infected.....do not fall for the standard "here's an antibiotic. Stop picking." ANTIBIOTICS MAKE THEM WORSE!!!

I felt awful and was very discouraged, but hung in. I began washing my face twice a day with a Sulfur shampoo. Left it on for about 3 min, then washed with Hibicleanse.  There is no way to tolerate the pain and inflammation of the sores as the medication kicked in without removing the plugs. It was very important to keep the sores clean and lightly mositurized. I use Aquaphor. It doesn't contain the oils that the fungus feeds on. 

By day 7, the sores were smaller. Still producing a lot of discharge. My face had red areas everywhere the little buggers were lying in wait. That lasted only one day and never opened. My lymph nodes were swollen around my neck and jaw for a couple days. That resolved on its own. Things are improving every day.

By day 10, sores are significantly better and the rest my skin looks normal! I didn't realize how puffy my skin was and how large my pores were. That's gone. 
The sores are now less deep and the plugs are fewer. They are also a different shape than they were. That being said, the plugs that are now coming to the surface are the Mother ships of each sore. They are HUGE....WIDE,  painful until they are out. They bleed profusely then several other larger plugs seem to easily come out....then, the sore almost magically shrinks. 

Ill continue exactly what I described above until the last sore is closed. Then I plan to continue the oral Ketoconazole 200 mg twice weekly, then, if no new sores come, once weekly.

Praise God! 

I completely 100% agree! I've been to 9 different Specialists, 7 of them Dermatologists and I even drove a 9 hour trip to Mayo Clinic to get answers. Nobody and I mean NOBODY could figure it out, not that they were really to anyway. If the diagnoses wasn't obvious to them within the 15 minutes they examined me, they just labeled it "dermatitis" and gave me antibiotics with antibacterial cream or anti-inflammatory cream. BOTH OF THOSE MAKE IT WORSE!!! Regardless of the fact that my skin biopsies showed PITYROSPORUM YEAST (malassezia) embedded in my tissue, the dermatologists still didn't think it was that. Well let me tell you, IT WAS. After years of being overprescribed and unnecessarily prescribed Antibiotics along with corticosteroids, it threw off my body's natural microbiome. When you take antibiotics without counteracting with probiotics, they kill off all the good bacteria along with the bad bacteria. You need the good bacteria to keep your body's yeast/fungus levels in check. When all the bacteria is killed, the YEAST GROWS OUT OF CONTROL. I had some success with ketoconazole but what helped the most was actually CLOTRIMAZOLE. Oddly enough the product that worked the best was from the Dollar Tree in the form of Athletes Foot cream (1% clotrimazole) because it also has aloe which helped remove the "biofilm" that made the yeast hard to treat. I've spent 100's of hours researching my condition on the National Library of Medicine website along with all the doctors visits. If you're looking more info to see if this could be what you have, search "pityrosporum folliculitis", "malassezia folliculitis" or "fungal acne". Oh, and to answer the question of what those little plugs are, they're keratin plugs and they're what keeps the yeast (pityrosporum, malassezia) trapped inside causing the infection in your follicles and sebaceous glands.

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Thank you so much for sharing.  The isolation and shame of this problem has been plaguing me for decades. First my nose, then my chin, now my cheeks.  Over the years I have "treated" myself by carefully extracting the plugs and applying polysporin or mupirocin until the plugs stopped coming up and the wound finally started to heal.  Same as described above: attached, in clusters, fair amount of blood once extracted, but only briefly.  Each time I've summoned the courage to seek medical help, I've been chastised by the dermatologist/nurse practitioner/physician's assistant, labeled a "picker," and given anti-itch topicals, antibiotics, and the instruction to "leave them alone."  Watching my face blemish, weep, scar and pit up over the years has had a slow, deep, devastating effect on me.  I'm going to try the clotrimazole. 

Maybe unrelated, but I also have a problem on my back.  In my early 30s, my back started itching on and between my shoulder blades as if something were crawling in my skin, but there was nothing there.  The maddening, constant itching eventually subsided, with just occasional itching.  In my late 40s, while showering, I was itchy and found the heads of a couple small bumps on my back just below my right shoulder blade.  Not rounded. Poking out.  Under hot water, they became soft and loose and I could rub the skin off.  Wouldn't you know I found those little plugs.  I also found several hard quarter-inch spikes imbedded, so hard I thought they were plastic, but when I finally worked them out, they softened up under water and looked a lot like really thick and twisted plugs.

The clusters of soft and hard plugs are now gone four years later, but mountain-shaped bumps continue to develop in a line up my shoulder blade. If I leave them alone, they continue to grow and itch and poke out farther. I can roll my finger over them until the "foreign" material starts to slough off, solid white and spongy, sometimes in chunks, sometimes in a peel. The spot itches and stays soft and loose until I get to the "bottom," all the spongy chunks and layers are cleared out, and I'm left with a completely smooth divot like the inside of a clam shell.  Finally, the spot heals.  No more bump. No more spongy chunks.  Not there, anyway.  The bumps started mid-back below my right shoulder blade and continue to creep up the blade all along the area that drove me crazy in my 30s. I also get them on my buttocks and legs and occasionally small ones on the tops and sides of my fingers.

One doctor told me to wash better.  Two dermatologists again prescribed anti-itch topicals, recommended I leave them alone.  I suspect a mild form of linear scleroderma; there is what looks like a long white scar creeping up my shoulder blade ahead of the bumps, and I think the bumps might be collagen deposits.  However, I can't get a doctor to take me seriously.  

Thank you again.  Even if the clotrimazole doesn't work, sharing makes me feel a bit less like a neurotic leper.

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I almost cried reading this post! 

I as well have been experiencing this exact issue with huge lesions on my face. Every doctor and every dermatologist only induced my hopelessness! I eventually stopped taking antibiotics when they prescribed them because I knew it was not an infection. Even after a biopsy and culture test came back negative. 

Its been nothing but a defeating battle trying to get doctors to hear what you are trying to explain to them. it's caused me so much isolation and anxiety. It's ruined every area of my life. The dermatologist just want to sell you their expensive crap and Have been so cocky and lazy to figure it out. It's like they literally ignored everything I explained to them and  went on with their stupid know it all diagnoses that were wrong! They treat you like it's self induced and it's not! I even explained how it starts off like a small little white head and I extract it and then it grows to Be a huge lesion with white dots and blisters inside. I also explained how they don't heal unless I get all those things out. Last diagnosis was cystic acne! My face is clear except those lesions and I even told her that they are never really a big bump or anything. 

Its the creepiest and most random thing when they appear. And they are so embarrassing and ugly. 

As much as I am so sorry to hear that you are all suffering in the same way, I have found such a profound comfort that I am not alone. 

I agree with the post about using sulfur. I still have yet to be diagnosed with accuracy so I just researched and researched and it seemed sulfur was my answer. From what I gathered it seemed to be a rosacea type of flare. But not like the one we Know rosacea to be. It can resemble acne, but are blister like and are in a cluster with those white plugs. I will follow up if this works. It's called proacea. 

I am just starting to use it, but I have tried everything else under the sun with no avail. 

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I have the things all over. Nothing has worked. I have had them for the past three years and they have made my life a living hell. I had stop researching because muprocin seemed to be working but it stopped. They came back wit a vengence. I saw on another site that a person used nystatin, a sulfur face wash, and cetaphil as a moisturizer. Another's was using desitin ointment. I havent tried these yet. But will be shortly. One question, is it a possibility that this could be caused by pets in the household?

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Thank god I’m not alone! I’ve had this for about 5 years, and doctors have been absolutely useless. A dermatologist took one look and wanted me on accutane. I’ve been going on the theory that this is related to fungal acne. I have both that and regular acne, but it mainly manifests as bumps on my forehead that are pretty easily treated with selenium sulfide shampoo. These deep sores with multiple “plugs” however, don’t respond as well to any treatments. When I get one, I know I’m in for weeks of pain. I recently started to think that perhaps these plugs are related to Demodex mites, much like roseacea. When you read about how they manifest in the pore, it makes a lot of sense. I bought some Mitesil on Amazon and have been using it 1-2x a day as a mask I wash off. This stuff is sulfur based, and really pretty nasty. So far, it’s cleared up all my non-plug spots, and I haven’t gotten any new plugs. That said, after a week, my plugs (3) are still at their worst until I get every last plug out of the spot. I will keep using the Mitesil because I think it’s preventing new spots, but I am going to try azeliac acid on the 3 active spots. Anyone else think this could be Demodex?

Edited by amlinares

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Hey folks!!! Went through this for the last three years but I finally figured it out. Sporotrichosis aka Morgellons disease 

 

I was first infected by a cat that had severe fungal infections on its skin bald spots the whole nine. The cat hit and scratched my right and and wrist which left some slow healing wounds in which a few turned into almsot crater like ulcers. 14 days later all up my arm these huge lumps appeared (along the lymph tract) and these huge lumpy nodules turned into open skin ulcers. Those white plugs in everyone. Same thing, pull them out and the bleed heavy for a moment. Multiple dermatologists that couldn’t help me. One said it was possible it was a fungal form of folliculitis but the fluconozole did nothing for me. Nor did the antibiotics or the mucipron etc. what works? 150mg or potassium iodide 3x a day. 

 

I found a liquid form on amazon for 20 bucks and use it three times a day. It’s one drop per 150mg. In a matter of days the ulcers that had the thick greenish yellowish glue like substance that sticks to the wound like super glue started drying out and coming off the wound with just a wipe from paper towel. It’s been over a week and there’s one last sore in my right wrist almost completely healed. This thing ravaged my face my head the back of my neck my chest my shoulders.

 

Check out morgellons Sporotrichosis and sski or super saturated potassium iodide. It will work I promise.  

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I suffered with this for years.  Doctors basically thought i was Crazy.  Finally went to an infectious disease doctor at NYU.  He took a sample and malesszia yeast.  However , the meds are not always full proof.  They work and then it comes back .   I made my own cure.  Bentodine and borax   The mule team borax in the laundry isle.  Made a paste  , like a scrub. Clean my face every night and leave on for 5 min.   Rinse , tone with raw organic apple cider vinegar.  And put Vick’s vapo rub on to sleep.  It will clear in 14 days.  I use the borax scrub once a week once i was Healed .  And use the acv toner daily.  So far so good.  Be forewarned when you first start doing this, those white plugs will get huge and all come to the top.  You will think your face opened up or wherever your sores are.   Then it heals.   

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On 4/1/2018 at 4:55 PM, Leesamo said:

Omg I have this same problem. I’ve had it for years everyone tells me I’m crazy basically. What the heck are these? I’ve searched and searched for answers.
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Ok I think I e figured this out after being told it’s morgellons. After a ton of research I believe these are hard keratin plugs. With possible fungus. I’ve tried all types of medicines creams. You name it ive probably tried it. I’ve discovered this is bringing these “plugs” out. I bought it off amazon and it’s doing wonderful and bringing these things out without having to dig them out. The product is called “it’s ordinary”. I’ll post a photo. Make sure the product lists niacinamide  it’s gets rid of excess sebum and keratin plugs  ABC4AF13-07F2-46F5-BB3E-7D8D02DDA75C.thumb.png.f81277484e7a964daf66c0bf9911cd18.png

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On 4/1/2018 at 3:55 PM, Leesamo said:

Omg I have this same problem. I’ve had it for years everyone tells me I’m crazy basically. What the heck are these? I’ve searched and searched for answers.
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A0CEBFDF-DA41-4AA8-9F67-A1D8D9B1E835.jpeg

 

The bottom 3 are mine.. Been looking for yrs for similar pics.. Doxycycolin helped if... You can get a prescription. Forgot to mention, mine seem erupt along or very nearby my veins.. Almost as if 'ssomething'was gathered in lymphatics and trying to burrow out along the hair follicle. 

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Edited by Skinizflukd

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Most of the people who have posted on this email string have candida or malassezia. Some people have recognised that they have malassezia. From the photos etc., I think most people have candida. The chances are that all the people on this email string have taken antibiotics in the last 12 months. Destruction of gut biota by antibiotics leads to fungal infections on the skin and elsewhere. Most doctors are "in denial" about skin problems caused by malassezia and candida in otherwise healthy people.

If you have a white tongue (and skin problems and possibly gut problems, headaches etc.), you most likely have candida. If you have dandruff (and skin problems) you most likely have malassezia. The best topical treatment for malassezia is terbenafine cream (OTC in Australia). The best topical treatment for candida is nystatin cream (sold as mycostatin, OTC in Australia). If you have candida - white tongue, tiredness, headaches, feeling of disorientation, and usually skin problems, you should also take oral nystatin - sold as oral nilstat in Australia (no prescription required in Australia, but you have to as the pharmacist for it).  Oral nilstat is for candida in the mouth (white tongue) and you are supposed to swallow it - it fixes candida in the gut, although it does not always fix candida in the mouth, at least not directly.

The keratin plugs and strings that people in this email string have are caused by candida or malassezia, and the body's consequent immune response, disrupting the normal process of keratin formation. Infectious microbes (both bacteria and fungi) do this on skin. 

Some people may also have secondary staph infections. These are dangerous. Use very strict hygiene protocols when dealing with skin fungal infections to avoid getting secondary staph infections. Doctors often treat the secondary staph infections (which must be done, but oral antibiotics exacerbate the fungal infection), without realising that the person has a fungal infection.

I am not a medical doctor, but I have spent over 1,000 hours researching skin candida and skin malassezia. I know what I am talking about. Try the remedies above and post again, if they do not work. I have had to use more extreme remedies (because the candida infection, which followed malassezia infection - from antibiotics when I had my appendix out - was so entrenched). After eight years, have finally "got on top" of my skin candida. I am happy to provide further advice on fixing skin problems caused by candida and malassezia, if people want this advice.  

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Oh Thank Yall .... Never Thought They would be Someone else with This ....Cant wait to try everything yall have said ....Yes ...Thank yall So Much 

 

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Ugh for real! Now I'm angry and Dr's suck. I'm male thirty one and in my sixth month of dealing with this issue. On my face. Started as a zit. Sorry for the blunt wording. Popped it. Would not ago away. Think I scratched it and it scanned over. Still wouldn't heal. These weird freakin white things were coming out of the pores which were underneath the scab. Now it starting to just give me weird looking acne like I've never had before and I don't use any recreational anything, but I'm honestly too embarrassed to go to the Dr. But seeing these pictures plz tell me someone knows what this is? 

Holy cow. Why would it seem to suddenly just happen? 

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Please see my post above. You most likely have candida, or possibly, malassezia, from taking antibiotics. Have you take antibiotics in the last 6-12 months? 

Use an anti-fungal cream topically on your face. If you cannot get nystatin, use clotrimazole cream. I find mixing an anti-fungal azole cream (clotrimazole, micanazole,etc) with a cream containing lidocaine boosts the anti-fungal effect. Be careful with lidocane cream as it can cause side-effects - check the warnings. The topical azole anti-fungal creams are quite safe, when used topically. The fungus plays havoc with the follicles and process of keratin production in skin. The white things are infected hairs and related matter caused by the fungus. Healing won't occur until the fungus is killed.

 

 

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On 3/27/2019 at 9:57 PM, Aussie Scientist said:

Please see my post above. You most likely have candida, or possibly, malassezia, from taking antibiotics. Have you take antibiotics in the last 6-12 months? 

Use an anti-fungal cream topically on your face. If you cannot get nystatin, use clotrimazole cream. I find mixing an anti-fungal azole cream (clotrimazole, micanazole,etc) with a cream containing lidocaine boosts the anti-fungal effect. Be careful with lidocane cream as it can cause side-effects - check the warnings. The topical azole anti-fungal creams are quite safe, when used topically. The fungus plays havoc with the follicles and process of keratin production in skin. The white things are infected hairs and related matter caused by the fungus. Healing won't occur until the fungus is killed.

 

 

The question is can EVERYONE of you swear on your MOTHER'S life you're not on dope? Lol bc I've used dope and this shit happened to me on a daily basis and I picked and picked bc dope is created using a special fungus so if you use it to get high it will infect your skin. No offense to anyone who might have actual dermatology issues, but science proves that the majority, NOT ALL, but the majority of ppl with these white plugs and skins issues are ppl abusing methamphetamines or even super greasy foods. Just saying. Maybe cut a certain habit outta your life and you'll see improvement. Kinda like me cutting out pill and alcohol use outta my life on top of switching to organic foods has eliminated all these strange reactions within my body.

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How charming is the above post. Here we are - helping each other to deal with a skin condition caused largely by prescribed antibiotics, and we are accused (with no evidence and no basis in fact) of being (illicit) drug takers. I do not understand what causes someone to make unfounded accusations against people who he/she does not know. 

To the decent people on this web site - pls use anti-fungal cream according to my advice in my posts above and in most cases the problem will go away. Some recalcitrant cases may not. I am happy to provide advice for people whose skin problem is not fixed by anti-fungal cream. Note that I am not a medical doctor and I can only provide advice based on my personal experience and my very extensive reading of the relevant literature.

 

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Posted (edited)

I do not want to sound like a broken record but the plugs I see in the photos are most likely keratin. And what works best against keratin is a cream with urea in high concentration (20% or more) as this breaks down the keratin. Keratin is extremely difficult to get rid off, your nails are made of keratin too so you can imagine how hard that stuff is.

Salicyclic acid helps too but the downside is that it dries out the skin and keratin forms when your skin is broken, dried out or damaged so you don't want to make that worse. The advantage of urea is that it hydrates your skin while at the same time it dissolves keratin. BTW: I would be careful though to put urea in high concentration on an open wound, maybe ask a doctor for advice on this first.

about urea:

https://www.acne.org/urea-and-its-role-in-the-skin.html

I suffered from these  keratin plugs for years and found out only recently how to solve it with urea, I wrote a post about it. I am surprised that in my experience dermatologists were unable to identify these are keratin, let alone mention urea as solution. Goodluck.

 

Edited by Salinas

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