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Skin Care and Diseases

Rash

06/27/2005

Question:

Around the edges of my nose I have red, irritated skin, with little white bumps sometimes. It is flaky and stings and kind-of burns to touch. Really dry. My nostriles have creases where it has swollen up from the irritation. My doctor gave me medicine for Rocacea and it burned and hurt and dried it out even more. Help! I look like a freak.

Answer:

It is hard to be specific about the underlying cause of the eruption on your nose.  It suggests that you may be an atopic but certainly it sounds like a primary irritant contact dermatitis.  I would suggest that first and foremost you see a board certified dermatologist who will give you a careful examination.  In any disorder in which the basic skin eruption is characterized by inflammation, transidation, exudation, crusting and/or thickening the initial treatment is usually first trying non-irritating cleansers such as waterless cleaner that you can get at your drug store, followed by the use of a topical antibiotic in an ointment base, along with the use of a medium strength steroid ointment.  Notice that we suggested ointment vehicles, most creams are quite drying and may even make the process worse.  Your dermatologist can help you with ordering the right medications.  If you are going to have a positive response to the medications that you may obtain with consultation from your pharmacist recognize that you should be much improved within 7 to 10-days.  If you are not better then it is mandatory that you resee your dermatologist for a more accurate diagnosis.

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati