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Itchy pimple appeared on cheek. No swelling or pain. Can this cause brain infection?

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Practicing since : 2010
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I accidentally popped an unseen pimple(no head) on my cheek about 0.5cm from my nostril while rubbing an itch. It bled, so I washed and dabbed isopropyl. Now it has a small scab with a bit a pus underneath; no swelling or pain; appears to be healing well. I never pop my pimples; this really was an accident. Now I am worried that I could contract a brain infection since this pimple was in the "triangle of death". Should I be worried? I am a theoretical physicist, so feel free to be technical. Thanks!
Posted Sun, 3 Mar 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Rahul Kumar 22 minutes later

I appreciate your efforts to seek prompt medical help. However in your case, there is nothing to be worried.

Infective lesions located over the XXXXXXX area of face spreads to brain only when a person is immunocompromised or when there is an overwhelming infection like cellulitis not responding to treatment. Infection spreads through veins to cavernous sinus of brain in such overwhelming infections.

Minor infections are well controlled by body's immunity. Thus your concern is not serious enough to evoke panic amongst medical fraternity. Many a time’s even boils in little's area of nose (which is the most XXXXXXX area) are handled with less concern when the individual is immunocompetent.

Therefore, you need not be worried. It will heal like a normal pimple. Apply ointment mupirocine (broad spectrum anti bacterial) over the affected area to prevent bacterial contamination.

Hope this is reassuring. Feel free to ask if you have any other query.

Wishing you a good health...

Thank you and regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Itchy pimple appeared on cheek. No swelling or pain. Can this cause brain infection? 32 minutes later

Thanks for your reassurance. My main worry was that pus may have been propelled inward into the cavernous sinus and would immediately cause a brain infection. It appears to be healing nicely; no pain or swelling or redness, just a scab. I tend to overreact, since, as a child, I was hospitalized for a month with a possible case of meningitis. In any event, I assume that I do not require an oral antibiotic? If I apply some mupirocine tomorrow, will that be fine? It is night now in Boston, so I am applying just a little alcohol for now. Thanks!

Answered by Dr. Rahul Kumar 19 minutes later
Dear Dr. XXXXXXX Sandre,

I understand your concern, but do not worry at all. It cannot pass to cavernous sinus through nostril. It must erode the mucosa and subcutaneous tissue to reach the venous plexus. Besides that as I said in my earlier reply, body defence system is quite capable of fighting minor infections. You can be rest assured.

Yes, you can start applying it from tomorrow. Apply it thrice daily.
Please do not apply alcohol; it might cause irritation, if it touches mucosa.

Hope I cleared your doubt. If all your queries are answered to your satisfaction, I would appreciate your reviews and ratings. Yet, I will be glad to clarify if you have any more doubts.

Wishing you a good health...

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Itchy pimple appeared on cheek. No swelling or pain. Can this cause brain infection? 17 minutes later

Thanks. The pimple was not on my nostril, but on my CHEEK, right next to my nostril, that why I was worried. I thought it might enter into a vein in my cheek. In this case, I still assume there in no problem? Sorry for the worry! XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Rahul Kumar 50 minutes later
I am sorry for the miscommunication. Those on the cheek will also not erode into venous plexus. Venous plexus are located quite XXXXXXX

So do not worry at all. You are totally safe.

Hope it is convincing now... I will be glad to assist you further if needed.

Thank you

PS: Request you to close this discussion if all your queries are answered. Appreciate your feed backs too.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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