Dermatology/Skin condition on hands, arms and penis
I am a 29 year old male, generally or good health. I'm really hoping you can give me some insight as to a range of skin problems that I have been having over the last three months.
As shown in the pictures attached I have a range of dry patches and red skin on numerous places on my body.
The most prominent are on my hands and lower arms. I probably have 7-8 small patches as per those shown in the attached image.
In two visits my doctor has told me that they were a) nothing to worry about, winter/cold dry skin and then on my return b) probably eczema.
However, I have had no dry skin or eczema related skin conditions before in my life. In addition I would note that absolutely none of these dry patches itch, or have itched at any point. I was of the understanding that itching was a pretty prominent part of eczema type skin conditions.
Further to these patches on my arms and hand, the skin on my penis is also currently irritated - see pictures two and three attached.
These pictures were taken under quite a bright light, and I would add that the make the symptoms appear worse than they do to the naked eye.
I effectively have the same dryness and skin coloured bumps appearing on my penis in a couple of patches - one quite large down the side nearer the base.
Whilst the patches look quite red on the attached images, they are genrally just skin coloured when I am not squeezing my penis to take the photo. There is no puss or anything odd from them - simply that the skin is now dry and scaly (and I repeat not itchy).
Obviously I have to touch my penis every day with my hands which were the primary source of this condition so that worried me.
By way of background, I have only had one sexual partner in my life; so I cannot see any way that this problem on my penis is any sort of STI whatsoever.
As further background, around 15 months ago I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever - and since then have struggled a bit with my health, picking up 3-4 other infections in the year following that diagnosis i.e. an ear infection, a throat infection etc etc
In the last 3 months I have also had a Staph infection in my nose, for which I was prescribed some ointment which seemed to clear it up.
However, given this was the same time these symptoms started to occur, I am concerned I have some other form of bacterial infection of the skin or other - and my GP has told me to moisturize for 3-4 weeks before returning to see him.
I am concerned to leave this condition this long, especially now the condition has become prominent on my penis.
I would note that everywhere this condition has appeared is one the very edge of where my body hair stops growing. I have no patches where I have mature bodily hair. However, all of the patches on my arms and hands seem to be irritation to the hair follicles where the last few tiny body hairs grow from.
Finally, by way of extra background, I am a very healthy weight, exercise regularly and have never smoked in my life.
Any advice to guide me on this strange problem would be greatly appreciated. I currently feel like waiting 3-4 weeks to return to my local doctor is not appropriate and currently feel like the eczema diagnosis is incorrect and somewhat lazy - especially given he inspected my symptoms for all of about 4 seconds.
Thanks in advance for any assistance.
What is folliculitis?
Folliculitis is an infection in the hair follicles. Each hair on your body grows out of a tiny pouch called a follicle. You can have folliculitis on any part of your body that has hair. But it is most common on the face and scalp and areas rubbed by clothing, such as the thighs and groin.
What causes folliculitis?
It usually is caused by bacteria. It also can be caused by yeast or another type of fungus.
You may get folliculitis if you have damaged hair follicles. Shaving or wearing clothes that rub the skin can irritate the follicles, which can lead to folliculitis. They also can become blocked or irritated by sweat, machine oils, or makeup. When the follicles are injured, they are more likely to become infected.
You are more likely to get folliculitis if you:
Use a hot tub, whirlpool, or swimming pool that is not properly treated with chlorine.
Wear tight clothes.
Use antibiotics or steroid creams for long periods.
Use or work with substances that can irritate or block the follicles. Examples include makeup, cocoa butter, motor oil, tar, and creosote.
Have an infected cut, scrape, or surgical wound. The bacteria or fungi can spread to nearby hair follicles.
Have a disease such as diabetes or HIV that lowers your ability to fight infection.
What are the symptoms?
Folliculitis usually looks like red pimples with a hair in the center of each one. The pimples may have pus in them, and they may itch or burn. When the pimples break open, they may drain pus, blood, or both.
"Hot tub folliculitis" most often appears about 72 hours after you've been in a hot tub or spa. Many small pimples appear on your stomach and sometimes on your arms and legs. You might have a mild fever and have an upset stomach. Most of the time, this kind of folliculitis goes away on its own in 7 to 10 days.
How is folliculitis diagnosed?
Your doctor will check your skin and ask about your health and activities. He or she may do tests to find out what is causing your folliculitis and to make sure you donít have a different problem, such as impetigo or heat rash. Testing a sample of the fluid in the pimples or a sample of tissue can help your doctor learn what is causing the infection.
How is it treated?
Mild folliculitis usually heals on its own in about 2 weeks. You can take care of yourself at home with:
Warm compresses made with white vinegar or Burow's solution. These may ease itching and help healing.
Oral antibiotics such as Solodyn or Monodox are also helpful.
Most folliculitis is caused by a bacteria called Staph.