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Carbuncles on scalp, growing in size, number, filled with pus. History of folliculitis. Causes for scalp carbuncles?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
i am having severe carbuncles on the scalp (more in the top portion ). it started some 6 years back as folliculitis and now it has become vere severe. it has grown in number and size. it has puss and is very painful. pain to such an extent that i find it difficult to lie down on the bed. i have consulted many dermatologists and they have prescribed antibiotics. while on medication it is under control and again the problem erupts. i have oily skin and stressful job profile. pls advice me
Posted Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

Though stress itself can cause repeated infections due to lowering of immunity, I suggest you get yourself tested for diabetes. There have been many cases in whom repeated carbuncle were the only manifestation of early diabetes, hence I suggestion you to rule out diabetes first.

Now for the carbuncles, a course of antibiotics both oral and topical application as advised by your doctor will cure them. Pain can be managed with a mild analgesic containing ibuprofen and paracetamol. Your treating doctor can prescribe it to you.

The most important thing is prevention, for which you need to maintain good hygiene; wash hair daily; wipe hair thoroughly after wash; avoid prolonged overnight oil application; apply oil and massage one hour before bath if needed; do not share comb / towel / oil with others, etc.

If you suffer from dandruff also, use medicated shampoo like ketoconazole.

Have a healthy lifestyle i.e balanced diet plenty of water and daily exercise or atleast half an hour of brisk walk.

If still you get recurrent carbuncles then consult your physician to rule out high blood pressure and get your blood tested for blood sugar, cholesterol, thyroid profile etc. Also rule out underlying fungal infection of scalp which can be done by your dermatologist by woods lamp examination of your scalp and if needed he might prescribe a course of antifungal medicines.

Hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries. I'll be available for any follow up queries though.

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