What you need to know:
- This is a type of acne that appears when the skin pores are clogged by skin cells and oil from the sebaceous glands
- Development of the pimple(s) may be triggered by hormonal changes.
- You should visit a dermatologist to be treated for this.
Dr Flo ,
I have had a huge, reddish pimple on my right cheek since I was 19. Sometimes I have two very hideous pimples. This has damaged my self-esteem because people keep looking at my cheek whenever we are talking. I also do not like taking photos. I have tried different types of face creams and ointments, but the pimple never clears. What could be its cause and how can I to get rid of it?
The red pimples are likely to be papules. This is a type of acne that appears when the skin pores are clogged by skin cells and oil from the sebaceous glands, forming large, hard, red pimples which may be painful when touched. Development of the pimple(s) may be triggered by hormonal changes, taking hormonal contraceptives, stress, or using cosmetic products that clog the pores (comedogenic products). You should visit a dermatologist to be treated for this. Treatment usually takes several weeks or months, and various products work differently for different people, so you may need to try several options before you get one that works for you. Medications that may be used are creams that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or retinoid creams. Other procedures that can be done include chemical peels, extraction, microdermabrasion, skin brushing, and laser and light therapy. To prevent worsening of the pimples, wash your face when you wake up, before sleeping and when you sweat. Apply the cleanser (or gentle soap) with your fingers and avoid using a washcloth. Avoid direct sunlight, take adequate amounts of water, eat balanced meals with lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, exercise, clean your hair regularly and keep it from your face, wash off makeup at the end of the day and limit the number of times you touch your face. Also, wash your pillowcases regularly and avoid alcohol-based skin products.
I suffer from constant backaches and sometimes I have to stand still to ease the pain. What could be the problem? What can I do about it? Kabi
Back pain is a common problem because the back supports our posture and movement and is easily injured, regardless of age. Lower back pain could be from a problem with any of the structures that make up the back including the vertebrae, the discs, the muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and even the skin. Problems with abdominal and pelvic organs can also contribute to back pain for example kidney problems and urinary tract infections.
Back pain can develop from poor posture, from straining the muscles and ligaments, from arthritis, bone disease or disc disease. You are at a higher risk of developing back pain if you are older, you do not exercise, are overweight, if you are a smoker, if you have other diseases that could contribute to back pain and if you use your back incorrectly.
Most times, back pain goes away on its own. You can also use painkillers to relieve the pain. Other measures include maintaining a healthy weight, diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, cessation of smoking, regular exercise (that does not hurt your back), build strength in your back and abdominal muscles, stand straight, sit up straight with low back support, your knees and hips level and your feet flat; your keyboard should be level with your elbows and do not lean your neck forward; use a mattress that keeps your spine straight; avoid lifting heavy things; lift things with your back straight and your knees bent, hold the load close to your body and stand straight up, without twisting your back and get assistance when necessary.
Since you have had back pain for quite some time, it would be advisable for you to be reviewed by a doctor, if possible, an orthopaedic specialist, for examination and relevant tests, which may include X-ray examination and/or an MRI scan of the back. You will then be managed as necessary, which may include pain relievers, supplements, and physiotherapy.
I usually have a sharp pain when passing urine. Sometimes I also have a pain around my waist, which was caused by an infection some time ago when I was diagnosed with gonorrhoea. I have been going for checkups. A urine sample test shows I do not have any problem. What could be wrong?
The most common cause of pain while urinating is a urinary tract infection. This is an infection within the urinary tract. That is, in the kidney, ureter, bladder or urethra. The most common route of infection for men is through unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner. For this, it is advisable to get treatment quickly and to make sure your partner(s) is treated as well before resuming sexual contact. Otherwise, the infection will keep being transmitted back and forth, and recurrent or long standing infections can lead to significant damage within the urinary system and/or the reproductive system like urethral stricture (narrowing or blockage of the urethra), epididymo-orchitis (inflammation within the testicles), kidney problems and even infertility.
You may also get symptoms similar to an infection, yet there is no infection when the bladder is irritated or inflamed for other reasons like intake of acidic foods or drinks. You should visit a urologist for examination and appropriate tests, which may include testing for infections that may not be immediately obvious in a urine test such as chlamydia infection or viral infection. In the meantime, drink a lot of water; use a urine alkaliniser; use clean toilets; practise safe sex; have your partner(s) tested and treated for any sexually transmitted diseases.
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