Ask an expert

14 Jan 2003

Recurring skin condition
I have this recurring skin condition on the skin around my nose, upper lip and especially my chin. I have been to a GP, dermatologist and as a last resort to a homeopath. No one is sure exactly what it is and so it has never been treated effectively. I normally use a cortisone-based cream (I now use a stronger one because the previous cream stopped having any effect on it) to keep it under control but sometimes severe outbreaks occur and nothing seems to help. It usually strikes in winter, when eating oranges makes it worse, but now it has made a unexpected appearance. Except for the outbreaks on my chin and sometimes around my nose, I have clear healthy skin and normally don't even have to use make-up. I'm not sure if it's caused by something I eat or some external cause, the homeopath seemed pretty sure that it was caused by a virus but the dermatologist and my GP didn't seem convinced. The last outbreak was when I stopped using the cortisone cream and started using some medicine prescribed by the homeopath, he also put me on a diet to try and eliminate foods that make the condition worse. It got really bad. It itched, it was dry, it was sore and it also formed little yellow heads, I couldn't put make-up on it so in effect, I couldn't go out of the house for about 3 weeks. The weirdest thing was that it was restricted only to the area on my chin and nowhere else. It got so bad that I went back to the cortisone cream and quit the diet and the prescribed medicine. The outbreak then cleared up in a matter of days. Also the glands under my jawbone, nearest to my chin, swell up and becomes very painful when such an outbreak occurs. Except for the skin condition I'm pretty healthy and have no other serious problems, the only medication I use is Marvelon and a generic brand of Androcur. Any thoughts on what causes this will be very helpful and if possible could you please give me the name of good dermatologist in Cape Town, preferably female, as the one I'm currently seeing is not satisfactory. Thank you for your help.
Answer 385 views

01 Jan 0001

DFH, it’s difficult to say what the problem is without being able to examine you, but the swollen glands seem to suggest that it is an infection of some sorts. I agree with you that getting a second opinion from a different dermatologist is the best thing to do and I’ll contact our people in CT about a good dermatologist. Mail me at and I’ll let you know what they say (I don’t want to put someone details on the Net without their permission). Good luck.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
33% - 9322 votes
67% - 18720 votes