This is going to sound so bizarre....but I'm glad I found this site!
I have been looking for an answer to this since I was about 22 years old....
I never had acne as a teenager. In my 20's, I would get a zit an I would deal with it. It would heal and all was well. I then got a Plantars wart, which took about a year to clear up (bottom of my oot) - but i was constantly picking at it and pulling the root out if I could. I know - stupid. I didn't know and no one told me.
Well, now - I have pimples that will come in (or a mosquito bite that I scratch due to the itch) and it turns into a scab. These scabs itch like crazy an never look like "real scabs." They seem raised and there is of ten a dull ache or itchiness that accompanies it. It is so bad that I can't help but scratch it or pick it off to relieve it.
But that's not all....
When I pick one of these, I can place the scab upside down in my hand (or hold it up to the light) and see one or millions o these tiny white hair-like 'root' things attached to it. Sometimes, it is one bigger one and it looks like it is made of clear white gel (of ten surrounded by these anchor-looking f iner ones). I know - gross. These things are scabbing over and forming overnight sometimes!
The pain in my f ace is getting worse now (I'm 36). It will go away if I grit my teeth and bear it - but usually I end up picking it until it eventually shrinks down and heals but that takes WEEKS if I have to keep opening it up again. It is driving me crazy because I look terrible! I found a great mineral makeup that actually covered them, but when I have picked one - it looks like a hole in my face (covered - but visible).
The ache that comes with this is horrible.
I have assumed many things....I've seen doctors who prescribe creams for viral infections - they sort of work, but another one springs up relatively quickly.
If I DON'T pick them, I feel itchy and the scab (which raises up slightly) doesn't do anything but grow more of these ANNOYING little hair-like roots that seem to 'anchor' the scab down. It is often REALLY painful to pull one off, and in those cases I see the larger gel-like ones and assume that is what is holding it down and making it painful to remove. They bleed alot but stop quickly, and I can often see a small 'hole' where this root has been pulled from.
I have assumed it is because I played with a Plantars Wart - if that's the case....what do I do now? Are there over the counter or natural remedies for this?? My face is scarred and I am miserable most of the time over it. I feel like I am helping it by picking the scabs off (I gain relief but horrid guilt over ruining my face).
I know it's contagious because they happen in the same places on my face, but new ones are springing up.
My husband thinks I have a picking problem - but I do it to relieve the pressure, pain and horrible itching. They (the root-like things) happen anywhere I have a scab!! What is this??
Anyone else know what this is...how do I treat it?
Hi, I'm sorry people didn't reply sooner: this website is odd in that one post gets 30 replies, even if it's not a serious issue, and a post like yours, where the person is clearly distressed, gets no replies. It sounds like you have some sort of comedos, kind of like blackheads, but on a massive scale. Comedos are made of the same scab-like material in blackheads. For you to actually compare them to scabs must mean that it's something other than a blackhead.
You might have something called a pore of winer, it enlarges a pore or two in your skin and, from the holes, these hard, cone-shaped black pieces of comedo grow out. They disappear for weeks, when plucked, and then grow back in. I've never heard of a person having lots of them. Usually, a person afflicted, victims of this condition also tend to be male, by the way, only has one or two, and these can be resolved with an excision of the comedo and the dysfunctional surrounding tissue that is producing it. What remains is a little scar, if that.
Now that I think about it, I'm wondering if what you have are blackheads, but I don't think blackheads would cause you this much distress, pain, scabs, etc. Can you eliminate blackheads as the cause? Either way, go see a dermatologist. If you don't have insurance, search a sliding scale clinic in your area. I don't have insurance, and that's how I get my physicals, etc. Actually, I just noticed you're Canadian: free dermatologist, right? You definitely should see a skin doctor.
For your peace of mind, add some more details, if you think you need more help, in the interim: before your doctor's appointment. If I think I really figured out your problem, I'll reply with more advice.
UPDATE: I did a web search, by entering all of the symptoms, in different sequences, with different key words, and I found a condition that matches your symptoms: Impetigo. See if you think it's something you have.
My Best Wishes.
Last edited by moderator2; 08-27-2008 at 05:03 AM.
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I did see a skin specialist years ago, but they only prescribed some cream that took it away temporarily. I have used Polysporin forever and it always helps dry them up fast, but once in awhile they fight through it and come back right away - but usually they go away for awhile and then return about a month or so later.
The 'roots' are not black. There is no black in them anywhere. The roots are a clear whitish color (almost clear) and they sure can hang on! They itch uncontrollably and if I even rub them due to this itch, then I usually have rubbed a part of the scab off (the scabs are often soft coatings only that can easily be removed) and I can actually SEE the white root part sticking out a tiny bit. It is then easily grabbed and tugged out with tweezers or my long nails.
In most cases, each scab contains one big root or many tiny ones, all rooting the scab. As I said, I can actually hold the scab up the light and see these little hair-like roots.
Polysporin has now helped once again - and my skin is improving for this time - I still have scars, but that's because these things spring up in the same area and the process always begins again later.
Not sure what else I can tell you - but I sure appreciate you taking the time to help me figure it out.
Hi. I really hope you're feeling better, and I completely feel for your situation. I hope I can be of assistance: if you'd like to bounce ideas off of me, I'd be glad to listen, research on your behalf and offer my support and encouragement, so that you don't feel alone in this.
Really, it sounds like you have some sort of infection that hasn't been resolved, which is why I think your doctor is giving you polysporin: a topical anti-biotic. Have you only recently begun the ointment? It might require more time to kill the infection. You also might need something internal, in addition to that oinment. I'd recommend you getting a second opinion, one where you're told exactly what it is you're suffering from.
Keep your head up: it could be worse, and it sounds like you can eventually be cured. I'm glad you have a support base, with your husband. Let me know if you need any further assistance.
Last edited by moderator2; 08-27-2008 at 05:01 AM.
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My doctor never prescribed the Polysporin - it's an experimental ointment I tried (and that worked) on my own. He prescribed something else but it didn't really work as well.
The only otherr help I can give you is that when the 'root' is large, it really resembles a plantar's wart 'root' but not as long. It's long enough though - I can sure feel it!
I have used polysporin ever since the doctor gave me the cream that didn't work well - and it's been years. I find so far it's what works fastest - but they always eventually return.
They show up in the same spots as before too - so there are scars. Right now I have 3 on my face - one below the chin (it's a scab but I can see three white bumps underneath and eventually they will raise up and push this scab up and I remove them) - one above my eyebrow (it is more like a hole as the 'root' is large) - and one on my right cheek. This scab feels grainy as it is healing (textured) but it is healed to the point where I can't pick it if I wanted to - but it will be back in awhile.
Not sure any of this helped - but thanks for responding.
I have an appointment on Nov 8th with a Chinese woman who my mother has been seeing for a year for her Lupus. All of my family has been to her for various issues (weight loss, gluten issues, etc) - so I figured it might be worth a shot. Her brochure mentioned Viral Infections and I'm assuming that's what this is.
Presently - there are 3 active places on my face where these 'roots' are residing. My left cheek is by far the largest (about the size of a quarter). Right now I have to keep pulling them out and putting Polysporin on it while the scab is freshly gone so they don't recreate themselves.
I was looking on the internet too and found something that said these scabs feed off of a blood source (Plantar's Warts do) - mine do that too - thus the blood directly from the place they are pulled. Does this mean something??
I even tried to 'save' one and put it on a piece of tape to save (to take to the Dr.) - but when I returned to look at it - the scab was there, but the root had shrivelled and disappeared!!! This leads me to think that without the blood source - they die. I want them all to go away!!
I found a photo of what these things look like (to me) but it was a drawing - there seems to be no one who has taken photos of what they are. All I find online are pictures of the damage it has done.
I'm still lost....and in pain. Ugh. Hopefully this woman can help. By the way, I believe IMPETIGO is what the original doctor who looked at me claimed it was....but I've read about Impetigo and it never mentioned these roots....and all the descriptions don't apply to my situation. The Dr's only listen to how I describe it - they've never seen it for themselves (they would have to pull one out now, wouldn't they?).
I live 3 hours from the city and the Dr's here are completely useless. They rescribe blood pressure pills to people without blood pressure problems and inhalers to newborns (yes..I know....strange) so I am wary of going to see any local Dr. because they only want to see as many patients as possible (it's a financial thing) - so I have the appointment for the 8th.
I'm going to do some deeper digging (information wise) and will let you know if I find anything. I'm just so tired of this...
I came across your post and was absolutely floored when I read it! I suffer from the same exact skin problem! I have read about others that describe almost the same thing, but not quite as exact as you. I can't believe that I've finally found someone else in the world that knows what I'm talking about and understands the hell and misery this monster puts you through. I was 34 when this started and I am now 37 (38 in May). You said you were 22 when it started for you, and you are now 36?? You poor thing! I can only imagine your pain. 3 years feels like a lifetime for me. I've been on every antibiotic, I've tried every topical, steroid creams and injections, antihistimines, UVB light treatments, accutane, anxiety medication, antidepressants, and I even was so desperate to go to this "Chinese Doctor" I heard about and he put me on a very strict diet and sent me home with this "tea" that tasted soooo horrible, I don't know how I swallowed it twice a day. I lost 10 lbs. however my skin got worse. Then he kept telling me that my blood was sick... Leukimia he said. I was devestated and couldn't believe what I was hearing. Well, I didn't have cancer, in fact every single blood test, x-ray, scan, etc. showed nothing was wrong with me and that I was completely healthy. I never thought that would be bad news. I am currently on a leave of absence from my job, having IV therapy in another state. I live in Houston, TX and I drove to Atlanta, GA to see a dr. that was referred to me by a woman whose website is her story and what she went through when she suffered from a skin problem that is called "Prurigo Nodularis". This is what I've been diagnosed with. Well, if you think about it, it seems some dr.'s have used 2 medical terms to make a name for something they don't know anything about. Prurigo is for Pruritis, meaning "itch". Nodularis is for Nodules which is what is formed in the skin of people like us. Well, I went to see this doctor who doesn't really know how or why this happens, however, he is researching it and has seen other people with similar sysmptoms. The woman I talked to was put on IV antibiotic therapy for MRSA, when she noticed the medication was clearing her "PN" as well. She has been "cured" for 3 years now. I have even met her since I've been here. She looks great. Now me on the other hand, I started my medications the end of July. I was supposed to be on it for 8 weeks. Well, the 6th week was when I finally looked at myself and cried! I finally was seeing results! I even wore a short sleeve shirt! Then somehow there was a miscommunication between a nurse and the dr. and the nurse took me off the meds that week! I knew she was wrong, but she insisted those were the dr.'s orders. Well, it started coming back within a week and I was crushed! I eventually went back on the meds. I am in the 8th week of the 2nd round and compared to how I looked before, I look ok, now. I'm still getting it on my face and hands. It has always attacked my hands big time (weird). It's attached my face, hands, arms, legs, chest & upper back. Oh, I did have a few come up right around my hair line too. That hasn't happened in a while. So, I'm hoping that when I'm taking off the medication this time, it doesn't come back! I'm sooooo scarred! As you know, this problem has literally taken over my life. It has effected my work, social life (which I don't have anymore because I don't want to be around anyone and allow them to see me like this). I swallow my pride walking into my office and having people there see me even though I cover it as much as I can with make-up. I wear long sleeves and long pants ALL THE TIME! I don't know if you've ever been to Houston, TX, but it is hot hot hot and humid humid humid, which just makes my skin problem worse! The weather here in Atlanta is wonderful right now. It's cold and dry and sunny! I'm actually getting outside and enjoying it. The sun feels so good, I used to worship the sun! I was in a pool or at the beach every chance I got before. Now, you couldn't pay me enough money to put a swim suit on. I miss my old life and I miss being happy. I hope this medication will be the end of this hell.
Please, let me know how you are doing. I'd like to keep in touch if thats ok with you. I haven't had anyone to talk to in a long time. Almost every dr. I saw before ended up telling me that I was doing this to myself and it's all in my head. I know I'm not crazy, and I know I'm not doing this to myself! Please, don't let anyone tell you it's your fault!!!!! You aren't crazy and you are not doing this to yourself! Just remember that!
Last edited by moderator2; 11-18-2008 at 01:41 PM.
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The Following User Says Thank You to zoe414 For This Useful Post: hopeswife (06-25-2012)
Although some of what you say rings true for me (the itch) there is more underneath the skin going on.
These 'roots' MUST be feeding off of a blood source (ME!) because here's how it goes....
I'll have a scab or pimple and I can FEEL something in it - like a dull ache.
I pick the scab off and before I even look I can tell one of these root things is attached because I can feel it rip out (the only way I can describe it is like pulling velcro apart - you know!)
Once I pull the root out (it is attached to the scab itself and as I said, MUST be feeding off of a blood supply because it bleeds right from where the root came free AND I often 'save' them (on a piece of tape or inside an envelope)to try to get them to a Dr. but the next day but the next day the scab is there but the root has shrivelled up and disappeared!! So that leads me to believe they live off of my blood itself. So I assume it's viral.
I have seen them (the roots) as small as a hair (I know it's not a hair, they are white and there usually are MANY of them if they are small - all attached to the scab) and as large as the lead of a pensil. They are gelatenous looking and generally a clearish white color. They are like jelly almost!
Yes, the itching is a factor - but these roots are my main concern. I read that a Plantar's wart can attach itself to bone - and these thngs look like mini ones....so I want to get them out - even if it scars me (which it always does).
Right now I have one on my chin, one just under my chin (they spread if I don't continuously wash my hands or apply Polysporin) and there is one over my eyebrow, two on my left cheek and a group of 3 on my right cheek.
I was going to go to the Chinese lady for help but we had a snowstorm and I couldn't get there (3 hour drive) and to book another appt. takes up to 3 months.
For now it's Polysporin - but I need a cure!
Again - thanks for your reply - I really appreciate it.
The Following User Says Thank You to ScarredAngel For This Useful Post: bunnymagic (08-04-2011)
Scarred Angel.. I have the same problem and my derm diagnosed it as pyoderma, which means pus under the skin. My scabs have many little strings but I assume it's just part of the attachment mechanism. I asked him if they were cysts or boils but he said no. I've also had impetigo along with these things and it's a mess. My "cysts" easily lose the upper layer of skin and then the skin tries to repair and ends up just like yours. My skin turns dark and it eventually fades some. My skin looks like someone has literally poured acid on my skin. It hurts a lot! I even had to take a week off of work it got so bad. It's now on my entire chin but is trying to heal, except the edge underneath is still active, plus I have another area on the edge of my jaw that is relly watery and also has a whitish grey stuff that I can express. I just hate it. I'm so frustrated and depressed about it since I've always had beautiful skin (from my mom's English side). I think it could possibly be hormonal since it started up really got bad after I went off of the prempro (hormone replacement) I'd been on for 13 years. I'm hoping that my gp will prescribe me some low dose estrogen since my diabetes dr said that it could be hormonal. My derm says my eyebrow swelling and sores is from sebarhea dermititis (sp) They itch and ooze periodically and he gave me steroid cream for it which helps some. Hope we can get this thing to leave once and for all. PS I took minocycline for months with no improvement. A podiatrist just put me on Keflex for a problem with my toe and said that it might also help my face. Take care. At least you're not alone.
Helo Tight Socks....so soory your going through something like this too.
My 'scabs' have no pus under them. They are, for the most part, fairly dry. I tend to think this is because the root living attached to it requires moisture to survive. I'm not sure, but if I tear the scab off, and the root breaks free (they are deeply rooted to a blood source - I'm sure of it!) - then I can often see the whitish roots end right in the scab. They are very difficult to remove as they are attached to a blood source under the skin I can't see.
There is sometimes clear liquid but not enough to ooze or anything. If I do manage to tear a root out, it bleeds from a small hole where the root was removed.
It sounds horrible - and it is.....not sure if it's what you mean though.
It must be a viral thing, I just wish someone knew exactly what I'm dealing with. It's hard to explain.
Tight Socks - I'd rather have it alone and know what it is than have alot of us have it and we're all confused as to the cause! LOL
My face ACTUALLY cleared up for a month when I got sick of chasing this thing and went to another doctor. He gave me some topical cream that (lik Polysporin) heals it temporarily. Once I stopped using the cream, I notcied that as soon as I started my period, these things were back. I have noticed they are most active when I am about to get my period - too wierd, but helps understand the blood source thing I guess.
Now I have my collection back - I will be attacking it with the cream again. I'm about to turn 37 - I cetainly don't want to be doing this in 5 more years.
One thing I am noticing is that after years of this, the nerves in my face are becoming damaged where these rootlike things are being pulled. I touch the area and it actually feels numb. I'm not liking this at all.
Still no ideas as to what it is - or how I got it....but I am SO frustrated!
ScarredAngel. These "roots" are actually gelatinous sacs of collagen. They run deep, near nerves - and that is why you feel that sharp pain you describe. If you leave them alone for a while, they will fill up and burst under the skin, releasing the collagen needed to heal the wound. If you rip the scab off, taking these "roots" off along with the scab, you are not allowing the skin to repair itself. This will leave you with a hole that was never allowed to essentially fill itself up with collagen and other fibrous material. As tempting as it may be to remove these scabs, try leaving them alone for a good month or two.
Last edited by danatee; 05-12-2009 at 07:30 AM.
The Following User Says Thank You to danatee For This Useful Post: Alliemv (11-07-2012)
I will definitely look into it, but it doesn't seem right to me. This stuff is all over my legs, face, head, behind my ears. How much collagen does one need? LOL
If I thought leaving it alone would help, I would try (and have but they spread under the skin FAST). They are above my eyebrows - on my forehead, chin, cheeks etc. They start up as one root...then if left alone spread UNDER the scab and create way more in the same spot - and creating a larger area that later has to be cleaned out. If left alone, the scab grows as a soft area (which is not very scab like anyway) but as soon as you remove that
I really appreciate the advice - and will look into it. I would LOVE if that was the solution!
danatee - I BEGGED a doctor to biopsy one (I offered to rip one out JUST for him) and he adamantly refused to allow it. Does this seem a bit odd to anyone? He didn't even want to examine my face - just sent me off to a dermatologist. I am from a VERY small town (less than 1000 people) and the doctor out here calls you to tell you the date of your appointment. I saw the doctor in January - I have called repeatedly for the referral....nothing yet. I will keep trying, but this is a pain in the ***....and face....and legs....and head....LOL
I am hopeful, and of a VERY positive attitude - just frustrated.
Last edited by ScarredAngel; 05-12-2009 at 08:12 AM.
I hate that you are suffering because you can't get in to see a derm quickly. I have a feeling this could have been cleared up long ago. I don't know much about the Canadian medical system. Do you live within a few hours from a medical school? It sounds like an interesting case for dermatology students.
I have been trying for a few days to get to the Health Boards to post this - it seems I couldn't log in, so I had to re-register (I kept the name and added a 2). I have HUGE news!!!
The 'roots' on my face had tripled by the last post I made. My skin is like this currently:
One large one on my chin (the size of about 4 quarters put together)
A group of 6 on my forehead (close to the hairline on the left side)
A single one on my forehead (on the right side)
One under the hairline near my ear - hidden at least!
One on my left cheek (still under the skin)
One on the back of my right leg
I had angry red marks all over my face!! I got so frustrated from cleaning them out only to scar up and having little to no results in ridding myself of them UNTIL.....
I got really ****** off and decided to try an old remedy my Grandmother used to tell me about. It is an ancient remedy for alot of things....(I jest, but it's true!)
THAT'S RIGHT!! Oh, it burns like a son of a.....but my face LITERALLY got better within HOURS! It dried these things up and the little roots (that are under skin/scab) rose out of them!! I could see them and simply pluck them out. I am now on DAY 3 of my VINEGAR/POLYSPORIN ritual and the large one one my chin is almost GONE! I mean healed up, free of roots and GONE!!!!
I couldn't believe it when I looked in the mirror and saw at least a thousand of these teeny white dots in my sore. I snagged them (I often loofah them too.....the pain is nothing compared to having them gone) and Polysporin - I'm HEALING FAST!!
I think the vinegar works this way:
I scrub my face with loofah gloves, then dab vinegar on it. The burn is unreal, but worth it!
I figured that these collagen-like roots are attached to a blood source, and they must be pretty fragile because they hide under the skin and are hard to reach with tweezers. The vinegar makes the skin tighten, and raises these roots up. It also seemed to 'melt' them because the large area on my chin began to weep a clear fluid (not vinegar). It wasn't alot of weeping, but enough to notice and make applying makeup difficult!
Once I had done 2 days of vinegar, the area became dried out and my skin was crusty in that area - grainy. I then loofah'ed the crusty (dead) area off, saw all of these roots just barely poking out (one area had thousands under the skin....OMG!) and BEAUTIFUL pink skin is already healed underneath!
I woke up this morning and checked the area again - it's CLEAN and HEALED!
I also looked up Proris Nodularis and found that to be as close to what I have as I have found yet. I don't think it's quite it (the roots are still a mystery to me) - but it's close!!
Not sure if vinegar will work for everyone, but it sure is helping me! I'm waiting to see if these things will reform, or if the vinegar has somehow altered the Ph in my system....that would be SO sweet!!!
So - although I still have scars and have to wait to find out if the roots will return, I am in HEAVEN!!!! Vinegar - I loves ya!!!
Please let me know if anyone tries this too!!!
ADDITION: After approximately 2 days, I realized that these 'roots' were indeed melting due to the vinegar, but the pain became unbearable. Not only that, but it seems that when the vinegar liquifies them, they SPREAD. It appeared they had healed, but they had spread UNDER my skin......now the places mentioned above where I have them - these spots are way worse. I actually broke into tears tonight - I can't cover this up!!
I called a dermatologist on my own and can get it.....November 4th. OMG!!! I can't live like this!!! I can call to see if there have been cancellation - but I can't go to work looking this way!
So, please don't try the vinegar!!! I am going to wait and see what the dermatologist finally says....I'll keep you posted!
Last edited by ScarredAngel2; 07-23-2009 at 08:33 PM.
OK...this time I think I've really figured it out.
Actually, it was my husband (who is showing signs of the same root like things) who decided to sit down and really investigate. We Googled everything we could think of without result...until we GOOGLED "facial viral infections." We figure it's viral....and the results were amazing!
We have narrowed it down to only one thing. One SIMPLE viral infection (so it says) that we can actually trace back to 15 years ago.
We have traced it back to my cat (who died last year at 20 years old) as she had ringworm around the same time. She may have contracted it again later, but she had a tendency to lick her fur from areas of her body so it may have been that she was tending to.
It must be a very interesting case because 15 years of doctors haven't been able to determine what it was. RINGWORM. This is said to be a VERY simple fix - but I have suffered for 15 years with it because no one seemed to take the time. They always shuffled it off like it was impetego or some sort of acne. I even offered to tear one out in the doctor's office so he could see it, and he quickly refused and backed away from me - HUH!?! That's helpful!!! I was starting to think it might be HPV or something...I had no clue about ringworm!!!
The suggestions for RINGWORM were simple. Apple cider vinegar (I was close with regular vinegar but acid in vinegar spreads ringworm...nice!)....or Oregano Oil (medicainal grade).
We happened to have Oregano Oil (I know, weird) because hubby's mom recommended it for colds/flu symptoms. It turns out that Oregano Oil is an EXCELLENT virus fighter!!
I tried putting some Oregano Oil on my sores - it didn't burn nearly as bad as the vinegar. After about an hour, I put more on - and felt some graininess as I applied it. The roots were coming out without pain - the sores no longer had pain either (an indication the infection is still there). The edges where the ringowrm is most concentrated were easily lifted off without pain - and the roots were again removed pain free!
I really didn't believe it was going to work, but after 4 days of applying Oregano Oil to the sores - my chin is pain free and clear. My forehead is healing nicely too - and without spreading!! I could actually cover up with makeup now I think, but am going to give it as long as I can (totally healed would be nice!).
If it hadn't been for my husband "facial viral infection" search we may never have found it - and something so easy to treat has been scarring me for years. Sad.
I'm so grateful this is working - it makes sense that the vinegar wouldn't work due to the acid contant, but I was desperate to try anything. There is also an anti-fungal spray that is available at pharmacies....I wasn't aware of that either. It would have made all of this alot easier.
Last edited by ScarredAngel2; 07-25-2009 at 02:04 PM.
Reason: Additional Information
The following user gives a hug of support to ScarredAngel2: bunnymagic (08-04-2011)