Picture this: You’re just about to head out for a date/job interview/other important social interaction and you notice a big, fat pimple on your face. What do you do? Smother it in toothpaste? Drown it in tea-tree oil? Cover your shame with make-up?
Well, whatever you do, don’t do what this guy did.
As explained in The Journal of Emergency Medicine, a 23-year-old construction worker from Chicago decided to “snip” a pimple off his lower lip with a woodworking tool. After leaving the wound for 7 months, his situation became a lot worse than a little zit on his face.
The patient came to the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago with a bizarre, wart-like growth on his bottom lip. In the doctor’s words, it was a “heme-crusted, verrucous, erythematous plaque with a rolled, indurated border on the lower vermillion and cutaneous lips.” Basically, not fun.
Dermatologists said his ailment was caused by an infection known as blastomycosis, caused by a rare fungus known as Blastomyces. This fungus is typically found living in soil and decaying wood in North America, so the doctors believe the man’s infection originated when he took a carpentry tool to his face.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the fungus only usually infects humans when its spores are inhaled. In these cases, it can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, malaise, weight loss, cough, shortness of breath, and joint pain. There are fewer than 50 reported cases of the fungus infection manifesting via a cut in skin, according to the case study.
This man actually avoided most of these symptoms and his blood tests proved to show nothing abnormal. The only noticeable symptom was the growth on his lower lip.
After given a dose of antifungal medication, the man was back to normal within just two weeks. However, let his mistake be a lesson to us all. As a wise man once said, keep carpentry tools away from your face. Equally, if you notice an unusual growth anywhere on your body, visit your doctor ASAP and don’t leave it for seven months.