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How to get rid of sore and red bump on chin?

Answered by
Dr. Kalpana Pathak


Practicing since :2006

Answered : 2015 Questions

Posted on Thu, 31 Jan 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hi,
I have a question for a Dermatologist. For quite some time now, probably a couple of years, I've had this bump on my chin. It's kind of red, kind of tender to the touch, and it will often dry up and scab over. I will add pictures if I am able.

It has never "leaked", and does not have any "puss" or anything like that inside of it. Can you please look at those pictures and give me your thoughts on what it might be, and most importantly what I could use to get rid of it?

I am wondering if it might be some sort of fungus. I have "tinea versicolor", which is basically just spots that I get on my back and some on my chest, but it is easily treated with ketaconazole. I have never had "herpes", and this is the only type of "bump" I have anywhere on my body.

Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 3 hours later

Firstly I would like to rule out two possibilities mentioned by you. It does not look like either tinea versicolor or herpes.

From the images you have attached, I can see a red elevated tender looking lesion with inflammation of surrounding area. You have also mentioned that the lesion is recurrent. In all probability, it might be infection of hair follicle of beard area (folliculitis). Most of the times, such lesions are caused by bacterial infection and infrequently by fungus too.

To treat the same, do hot moist compresses over the area two to three times in a day and apply a topical antibiotic cream like nadifloxacin or umpire in cream for few days. Oral antibiotic like amoxicillin-clavulinic acid combination or cefopodoxime-clavulinic acid combination can be additional benefit. Oral drugs however are prescription drug. If the lesions are too tender to touch, you might also require an anti-inflammatory pain killer like ibuprofen. It might require 5 to 7 days for the lesion to heal.

As a general precautionary measure, do not touch the area often. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid shaving the area for few days. Do not squeeze the lesion and do not try to pull the scab.

Hope I have answered your query. Should there be further questions, I would be happy to answer.

Wish you a healthy recovery...

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Kalpana Pathak 55 minutes later
Hi Dr. Pathak,
Thank you so much for your quick reply. I do have a couple of questions if you don't mind. As I do not have health insurance, I would like to try to take care of this without the expense of a doctor visit if possible.

1. Would folliculitis also be similar to an ingrown hair? As in do you think it could be folliculitis with an ingrown hair as well that will need to come out before it can heal completely? I found a product while I was awaiting your reply that is used to treat ingrown hairs and "razor bumps". This is the ingredients for it:

The ingredients in "PFB Vanish" - WWW.WWWW.WW
Ingredients: SDA-40B, Isopropyl Alcohol, Purified Water, Wllow Bark Extract/Acetyl Salicylic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Cylomethicone, Glycerin, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Camphor Oil, Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid.

Do you think a product with those ingredients might help this?

2. It appears that the topical creams you mentioned are prescription only. Do you know of any over the counter creams that I could get without a prescription that might be an effective treatment?

3. Do you think that perhaps ketaconazole shampoo might help with it, since it is an anti-fungal treatment? I know you said that it was infrequently caused by fungus...but I just happened to have some of that on hand.

Sorry to write so much, but I appreciate your time and replies.

Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 3 hours later

Thanks for writing in.

I would like to dispel all your doubts. Firstly you are not having razor bumps. So you need not buy PFB vanish.

The infection of hair follicle is more commonly bacterial than fungal. In your case too it looks like a furunculosis (bacterial in origin). As you do not want to visit a doctor right now. I would advise you to clean the area with betadine solution or savlon. Do warm water compresses over the area two to three times in a day. Apply neosporin ointment. If it is too painful, you can also take paracetamol tablets. If the lesion does not respond to these in couple of days, doctor's visit is highly recommended.

As the lesion has been recurrent, use of prescription oral antibiotics and topical creams like nadifloxacin or mupirocin or fusidic acid would have helped you more. In extreme cases sometimes incision and drainage of the area is required to cure it permanently.

Right now do not apply clotrimazole or ketoconazole cream over face; the lesion appears to be of bacterial origin. So do not give yourself a trial of fungal treatment!

In addition general precautionary measure that I suggest are-
Wash your hands frequently
Do not try to squeeze the inflammed area
Avoid shaving for few days
To avoid razor bumps - do not keep your skin taut while shaving, avoid very close shaving and always shave in direction of hair growth.
Wash your face twice with antibacterial soap.

Hope I have answered your queries. Should there be more doubts, feel free to write again.

Take care

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Kalpana Pathak 21 hours later
Hi Dr. Pathak,
Thank you so much for your help with this issue. I have one more question if you don't mind. I have been soaking this place on my chin with a warm wet compress several times yesterday and today for probably 20 minutes each time (I just warm it up when it starts to cool down).

There is already a reaction, as this bump will sort of swell up and turn white and it seems to be sticking out a little more, and it is getting very tender/sore. My question is, what exactly is it going to do as it heels? What is it supposed to do to heal? Will it somehow fall off?

Thanks again and I will be giving you a perfect review for your help. I am very grateful for your replies and advice.

Answered by Dr. Kalpana Pathak 3 hours later

The purpose of wet warm compresses is to help lesion drain and heal. It basically liquefies the solid content inside, helping in the formation of pus point and finally helps the lesion drain and heal. It also reduces inflammation to some extent.

Do not do compresses more than two to three times and doing it for 5 to 10 minutes is enough. With the description, you have given it seems most probably the pus point has formed and it will rupture and drain on its own. Do not try to squeeze it right now.

Continue with the application of antibacterial cream, clean the area with betadine or savlon and if it is tender take tablet paracetamol for a couple of days.

Hope that answers your query. Wish you a speedy recovery.
Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E

The User accepted the expert's answer

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