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Folliculitis: Frequently Asked Questions

About Dr. Raphael Nach

Dr. Raphael Nach is board certified in plastic surgery and otolaryngology and has been in practice for over 30 years. Born and educated in South Africa, Dr. Nach became an American citizen in 1978 and has been in practice across the country since then.

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Dr. Raphael Nach of the Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Osborne Head and Neck Institute
Dr. Raphael Nach of the Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Osborne Head and Neck Institute

What are the painful pimples on my nose?

What these “pimples” are, are in fact infected hair follicles.

What is the medical term for this?

Folliculitis.

Why do I keep getting them?

The commonest cause is from trimming or pulling out the hairs in the nostril.

The nose hair trimmers and scissors are the culprits.

When the hair shaft is cut, bacteria, usually staphylococci, penetrate the hair follicle and cause an infection at the base of the hair. Because the base of the hair is reversed in the nostril the “pimple” is close to the surface and is seen usually on the tip of the nose.

Are these pimples dangerous?

They could be. The vein that runs from the nose to the brain does not have a valve in it, and there is the potential that the infection from the nose can spread to the brain and cause a brain abscess.

What should I do if I get a painful nose pimple?

See your doctor so that you can get started on an antibiotic or antibiotics as soon as possible.

I don’t get pimples, but my nostrils crust. Is this a similar condition?

Yes.

How can I avoid getting these ?

There are several precautions that you can use.

  1. Avoid trimming the hairs or pulling them out. Not always an option.
  2. Apply an antibiotic ointment to the tines of the scissors before trimming the hairs.
  3. Apply an antibiotic to the hair bearing area of the nostril after the hairs have been trimmed.

Does this mean that if I get a pimple, I will develop a brain abscess?

No. Just maintain good hygiene when trimming these hairs.

 

To learn more about Dr. Raphael Nach or folliculitis, visit: http://www.ohniskin.com/

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