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What you should know about pimples!

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Dr. Evans recently sat down with Shape magazine to discuss pimples.  

Shape: How long does it take for bumps caused by folliculitis to resolve? 

Dr. Evans: Approx. 1-2 weeks depending on where that occur on the body.  Faces always heal faster (2-7 days) on the body or groin area this can take 2-3 weeks

Shape: How long does it take bumps due to staph to resolve? 

Dr. Evans: With treatment Staph resolves on 7-14 days.  It can last for many weeks without proper cleansing and antibiotics (topical or oral). It can be difficult to diagnosis what lesion (spot) is in your nose.  If you experience tingling and pain it is more likely an HSV infection (cold sore) especially if you have a history of these types of infections. A pimple will simply resolve in 3-7 days whereas folliculitis or a staph infection can often persist or reoccur. If it is in fact a pimple other the counter meds (OTC) that contain benzoyl peroxide can help to resolve these spots. Now available as an OTC medication Differin gel can greatly improve pimples or acne type lesions  

Shape: Why do we get pimples inside of our nose?

Dr. Evans: Small hair follicles cover the insides of our nostrils.  These hair follicles can become infected which is called folliculitis and a “pimple” can form.  Oil glands (sebaceous glands) also exist in the nose and contribute to acne formation in this area.

Shape: Do these differ at all from pimples elsewhere on the face? How/why?

Dr. Evans: Some people will have recurrent pimples in their noses, which can be related to staph infections rather than true acne.

Shape: How does the skin inside our nostrils differ from the skin on our face?

Dr. Evans: The skin inside of our nostrils is mucosal skin so it has a different outer layer of skin (little to no stratum corneum). It can be more prone to bacteria that have a harder time entering through the rest of our skin. This area is also prone to the herpes virus (HSV 1) and so should be evaluated by a health care provider.

Shape: How can you prevent getting pimples inside your nose? 

Dr. Evans: Not all white heads are pimples! If you have recurrent “pimples” in your nose you should see your provider who may recommend a therapy to prevent for staph infections.  Staphylococcus aureus often inhabits the nares (nostrils) of people and can be a recurrent problem for some as well as herpes (HSV 1).

Shape: What can you do to treat a pimple inside your nose? (assuming you can’t put spot treatments inside your nostril, right?) Why/how would you do this?

Dr. Evans: Both prescription topical ointments such as mupiricin 2% ointment can be applied. Prescription  oral antibiotics or antivirals are sometimes needed as well to treat this condition.

Shape: I assume pimple popping isn’t advised, but if you really want to pop a pimple that’s inside your nose what’s the best way to do so?

Dr. Evans: Fingers harbor bacteria so it is never a good idea to “pop” them. A good aesthetician can often release this congestion. If this is a recurrent condition, painful or concerning you for any reason, it is important see your health care provider for appropriate evaluation and management.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.