I woke up one Monday morning last October with a sore on the right side of my upper lip. What had been a small pimple the night before was really red, swollen and sore. By that night I had vague pink spots on my chin and near my lip. By Wednesday morning I was trying to get to the doctor because I had throbbing pain, and was feeling really bad. No fever, but I had five wounds by then, and my glands along my jaw were sore and swollen. On Thursday I saw the dermatologist and he said it was likely a bad bacterial infection, gave me strong ointment and antibiotic Clindamycin HCL, the ointment Altabax retapamulin 1% and said if it didn't at least feel a little better in the morning go to the hospital. I entered the emergency room Friday morning in major pain, and with a disfigured face. I was admitted Friday evening and given an iv drip with 6 rounds of antibiotic. I slept almost around the clock and by Sunday I started to feel better so I went home later that night. _I thought it was just a one time, flukey thing.
At the end of December after a xmas vacation, I began to get a small dry skin crack on my lower lip, but it soon turned to a hard lump and then what looked to some like a cold sore to my friends. I've never had a cold sore before but used abrevia and the same antibiotics from the prior infection because this sore started to feel the same as the infection (pain along my jawline again) and I was afraid the same bacterial infection might be returning. After about 2 weeks it began to dry and heal and I had no other incident surrounding it.
Well, the scars from the first infection have always felt nerve-y and a small white head is noticable at each of the 5 sites. Last night i picked at the one on my upper lip thinking that it would help, but I woke up this morning to another infected mass of multiple heads and a sore lymph node on my jaw just below the wound.
Now I'm wondering if all three are linked and that maybe I have some chronic skin issue that lies dormant and erupts for whatever reason? I'm once again using the antibiotic Clindamycin HCL, the ointment Altabax retapamulin 1%, and the over the counter ointment abrevia to see what might help to kill it before it grows into another trip to the hospital for me! Any idea what this might be? I have pics of the progression of my first infection. If you want to see them let me know. Thanks!
Bare in mind that I am not a health professional, but I have had cold sores before in my youth that were as bad as that. And cold sores will not respond to antibiotics because they are a form of viral infection, so I wouldn't TOTALLY rule that out yet. For what it's worth you may want to bring this up to your doctor and ask about valacyclovir (Valtrex). When I was taking it, it was very expensive because there were no generics available ($35 for 8 pills after insurance). But as of November 2009 generics became available so hopefully those are much cheaper! If you're given a prescription for Valtrex it is best to not wait until the suspected infection is full blown to take it. Antivirals like Valtrex work to prevent infectious outbreak, not kill them like antibiotics do. So its best to take it as SOON as you feel like an outbreak is starting. For example my prescription was for Valtrex 1gram pills, and I was instructed to take 2 pills as soon as I could feel a cold sore starting and repeat with two pills every 8-12 hours after that. It was VERY effective at a time when I was getting sores as far up as my eyes. Also, if it is in fact cold sores that you are getting, you may notice a little tingle as one of the first signs on wherever the soon to be affected area is.
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
Sores on the face that do not heal could be due to hormonal imbalance, underlying diabetes or infection not getting treated properly. Get an assessment of the hormonal status and diabetes. If you are in menopausal age, then a lowered estrogen level is responsible for an increase in acne like skin lesions. A culture sensitivity of the scraping or pus from the lesions may give a clue to correct treatment. Please discuss this with your doctor.
Hope this helps. Take care!
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