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Frequent boils... dermo says they will happen, but why no treatment?

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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-03 08:02 PM
Original message
Frequent boils... dermo says they will happen, but why no treatment?
Of course, the dermotologist said that several months ago. I've had a bit of a breather, but for the last 2 months I've had 8 boils form on my scalp. When they erupt, they create bald spots which stick around for several MONTHS.

And tonight I've felt the formation of 3 more boils.

I'm assuming they're boils. They start small, grow quickly, and are red and leave the surrounding area red as well. Within a week they pop on their own and it's a mess. Then the hair in the area weakens and falls out...

I'm now getting tired of boils. They hurt, they leave bald spots on my head which make me feel chronically ill or like less of a person. x(

I've been using Nizoral for a month, and there's no positive result.

Should I get a second opinion for treatment, or am I stuck with this for the rest of my pitiful life? (fortunately, these boils currently don't get over 1/4" in size, but a year ago I had one that was well over 1/2" in diameter...)

Thanks!
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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-03 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. Have they talked about antibiotics?
It may take a round of antibiotics to clear up the bacteria that are causing the infections, seeing as they are'nt going away with OTC shampoo. Have you asked your doc?
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Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-03 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. Stop overwashing!
Edited on Mon Nov-10-03 08:07 PM by Maple
You are killing your scalp with all that stuff!

On edit...check it out on the web.
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WindRavenX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-03 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. Dumb question:
what exactly are boils? How do they differ from zits and pimples? :shrug:
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-03 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Nothing to lose by getting a second opinion
I can't say I've ever heard of such a problem, so I can't help you much.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-03 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. Get a second opinion.
It couldn't hurt. isn't Nizoral an anti-fungal? Why are you taking it, since boils are caused by staph bacteria, normally? Shouldn't you be on an antibiotic? :shrug:
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undergroundrailroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-03 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. What are your glucose levels?
You need blood work done and yes, antibiotics can and do help.

Yes, I would seek out another Doctor, IMO. You need to rule/out other diagnosis. Skin boils are symptomatic of many other disorders of the body.

Also, use moist and dry heat every 15 min. when you feel one starting to form. You should wash your hands constantly and make sure you don't touch the area after.

There *IS* help out there but you need to get to the underlying cause of this problem.

Good luck.

UGRR
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NicoleM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-11-03 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. That's what I was going to say.
I used to get them all the time, couldn't figure out why. I was watching Northern Exposure one day and I learned from Dr. Fleischman that boils can be caused by excessive sugar intake. I laid off the sugar and they went away. The only time I ever get them now is when I eat too much sugar.
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-03 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. I wish you luck
I have not found much help from dermatologists - in my experience.

Are you using a safe shampoo? So many shampoos have terrible chemicals in them - and they do not have to be tested for safety under the "cosmetics act." Look for something that does not have formaldehyde. Other ingredients will release formaldehyde at body temperature. Try avoiding:
formaldehyde
Germall II (diazolidinyl urea)
Germall 115 (imidazolidinyl urea)
Dowicil (quaternium 15)
Tris (hydroxymethyl) nitromethane
(there may be other product names now)

This is from "Contact Dermatitis" Alexander A. Fisher MD
published by Lea & Febiger 1986

Go to a natural foods store and find an unscented shampoo that does not have formaldehyde (or formaldehyde contributors); laureth sulfate; and the parabens.
You may have to experiment to find something that is Ok for you. I'll bet your problem will clear up.
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latebloomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-10-03 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. How is your general health?
I was getting boils (not on my scalp, on my underarms) years ago, when I was not taking very good care of myself. I'd suggest cleaning up your diet, eliminating sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, taking a lot of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and zinc.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-11-03 06:49 AM
Response to Original message
9. Just keep your scalp clean!
If I don't wash my face twice a day, pores clog and I get zits/boils. Maybe this is what's happening on your head.
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-11-03 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
10. It Could Be Hidradenitis Suppurtiva
But even if it is chronic boils or HS, there's really no cure. My immune system is shot to shit, so I am often plagued by boils (or HS; they're not sure). One thing that does help is to wash the affected area with medicinal green soap (get it at the pharmacy).

Sometimes I have t have my boils lanced, drained and then sewn open for them to heal.

If you're diabetic, good BG control may not contain it. My HbA1c is 5.5% (normal for non-diabetics) but (see above). If you know you have an immune system disorder, like diabetes, rheumatoid-type arthritis, chronic kidney disease, etc well then you have your answer why you get them. If not, might be worth finding out if there is an underlying problem.
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