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Tom Busby

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  1. Hi nbrown, the condition on your chest is most likely Pilaris Keratosis (aka chicken bumps). It's considered untreatable by western medicine, but is treatable with raw coconut oil. About 40% of all humans have this problem at one time or another. It's not a permanent allergy, and no one knows what causes it. It's not really seb derm.
  2. There's no such thing as scalp acne. You have a skin allergy involving malassezia. Pine tar and T-Sal is high button boots. Buy some Hegor 150 shampoo and see if you have results.
  3. As I understand it punch biopsies are a waste of time and money for diagnosing fungal conditions: http://wwwskintherapyletter.com/2012/17.7/1.html The link may be dead because the forum won't allow a normal cut and paste, so google "Biofilms in Dermatology."
  4. Sorry to hear that antibiotics are not helping, and seem to be making it worse. Has your doc ruled out a fungal reaction to the waxing? Itraconazole is the most effective systemic anti-fungal drug allowed in the US so you could ask for that and see what your doc says.
  5. It looks like seb derm induced by malassezia, and the follicular variety. This is very hard to treat but not impossible. The best method for a differential diagnosis is to use an effective antifungal for two weeks and see if there's any change. Try Nozoral 1% shampoo (OTC but web-order only) and Lotrimin Ultra cream (not the AF kind). These are not the best treatments in the world but they are easy to buy in the US. If you have some positive results, Hegor 150 shampoo is 1.5% climbazole and
  6. I believe it's called keratosis pilaris, because each hair follicle has a small bump at the opening of the follicle. Some people have treated it with coconut oil.
  7. I think you're seeing plaques formed by the reaction between malassezia and your skin, because malassezia is capable of forming a biofilm from your own skin components. The skin is slightly thickened, and is less flexible, so the texture looks odd. Chicken texture is an good description, or a wrinkly sort of super thin cellophane stuck to the top of your skin. You may see some inflammation too, as your body's immune system recognizes the fungal biofilm as "not self" while you are slowly di
  8. Just a possibility, but the Nivea product probably contains piroctone olamine -- it's dissolving malassezia cell walls, and then your immune system is recognizing the dissolved fungal cell walls as "not self" and activating the immune system, the first result of which is inflammation, or redness. You may be getting a positive diagnosis for seb derm induced by malassezia, which is essentially a skin allergy to a fungal overload. It can be treated but not cured. It doesn't go away with age, eit
  9. Try Hegor 150 climbazole shampoo, sold on eBay. It's fairly effective but has harsh SLS and SLES surfactants, so it's not perfect.
  10. You can use 99% Isopropanol, Glycerin, or Propylene Glycol as solvents, four parts solvent to 1 part SA. With Glycerin or Propylene Glycol, you can mix in the SA, and then heat in a shot glass to about 150F. Hold it at this temp for about 20 minutes, covered. Bubbles form in water at about 145F, so if you put the shot glass into a water bath, you can estimate the temp even if you don't have a thermometer. If you overheat and boil the water, the shot glass will eventually crack, so take it s
  11. You could try MCT oil, which is very light and pleasant. It's sold at Hi Health and Whole Foods. It has a carbon chain length of only C8 and C10, so it's very short and absorbs well. But any oil used at 100% is going to be shiny and oily -- that's why we buy lotions that are about 70% water, the first ingredient on the label. You could experiment with pH by adding baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) -- adding about 0.5% will raise the pH about 1 number, but that's a very rough estimate. Yo
  12. If antibiotics haven't done their job in 7 to 10 days, then it seems to prove that they aren't the answer to the red bumps. (But I guess antibiotics resolved your swollen lymph node?) Red bumps are not necessarily bacterial. For example, in my case, I had bumps on my head when I was five, and still get them very rarely but much smaller -- they appear and go away in the course of a day. Doctors never have figured out what causes the red bumps. I believe the red bumps occur when malassezi
  13. The same thing happened to a guy I know -- first time he ever had his back waxed. He took antibiotics for 6 months and the condition got worse. Now he's using anti-fungal treatments and he's getting better, very slowly. Folliculitis means only that these places (follicles) on your body that are irritated -- it's not a diagnosis of the causative agent. Myself, I think the wax plugged up the hair follicles and the sweat glands, trapping fluids inside the dermis that are supposed to be on
  14. I have the same problem, which I think is where the sweat glands clog up, and then the sweat can't escape, and the salts and other components of the sweat react with one of the deeper dermal layers. The skin turns into a red bump that heals only very slowly. By the time the bump forms, no one can determine if it started with a hair follicle or a sweat gland, or if it's fungal or bacterial. If you're like me, the problem is fungal in origin, and is best described as an allergic reaction to
  15. For myself, I look at my problem as an allergy to a commensal fungus, and so I need daily treatment. I don't know of any practical way to alter my body chemistry, so I looked for a useable daily treatment. For example, I read several medical articles that showed lemongrass oil is effective against malassezia, at a 3% concentration. This wasn't practical for me because 3% lemongrass oil gave my skin a slight yellow tint and smelled strongly like lemon-scented furniture polish. That was th