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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Swollen forehead after popping pimple. Does this require a visit to the ER?

I am a 27 year old male with very little history of acne . I (foolishly, I know) popped a forehead pimple which was roughly a half in diameter and a quarter in raised. Then, I applied an OTC topical acne cream to it. About 2 hours later my forehead skin felt tight so I looked in the mirror and literally my entire forehead is swollen--swelling stops at all hair lines; scalp, eyebrows etc. I believe it is called pitting edema because if I apply pressure the dent remains. The swelling is of normal skin color, not red (other than the location of the pimple). Does this require a visit to the ER? Will warm compression help? If it does require a visit to the doctor, is it urgent or wait a day or 2?
Wed, 12 Dec 2012
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Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeon 's  Response
Hello,
Yes, you should visit a doctor now because you possibly require the intake of antibiotics for this. Also, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory meds are also required to decrease the inflammation that has been associated with this. Hot compresses would also help. However, it is better if you make a visit to the ER now and get the required prescription so that you can start off the meds without delay.
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