Comments on bumpy head
commentson 26 October 2003 : 15:03, Liz sez:

Zits? Thats pretty angry looking. I would try steaming that and see what happens. Keep the area clean and if doesn't clear up, make that trip to the family doctor.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 15:12, Thomas Lockney sez:

Looks like eczema to me. Most of my family (including myself) suffers from it as does my wife. It's not fun, but it can be easy to treat in most cases. One thing to note is that it can easily be set off by stress.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 15:45, Brad sez:

Looks like an allergic reaction to me. I would try Benadryl cream, or take some benadryl tablets and put Neosporin on it. Definitely don't scratch it. A bong hit may help your stress level a little as well :^p.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 15:55, Timothy Burke sez:

Lot of possibilities here, and you should see a doctor if they remain or spread or become generally painful.

Eczema definitely comes to mind. Have you eaten anything in the last four days or so that you've never eaten before? An allergic reaction is a possibility.

A contact rash of some kind, e.g., some kind of caustic chemical or something similar, is another possibility. Could also be bites or welts from an insect or parasite. Scabies is one possibility--it leaves bumpy welts like that sometimes. Another possibility is ringworm--it sometimes looks like that.

If you start feeling intense pain in that general area, it's possible you have shingles, which is a flare-up of chicken pox.

Have you been swimming in a natural body of still water in the last week?

If you develop a fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, or if those sores open up, then you need to see a doctor before you go to London.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 16:50, Dr. Feelgood sez:

See a dermatologist. My real guess is you got some skin skank from that "spa" you visited in Korea. Those hottubs are total bacterial breeding grounds. I got something semi-similar from a gross vacation hot-tub in Tahoe, but it was under my armpits...ugh.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 17:13, jen sez:

It's an odd location, but I've had cold sores that look like that. They usually break out around the mouth, but I've had something like that near my nose...
which the doc also said could've been a strep infection. They never really knew for sure.

I'd see a doc because the sooner they can give you some cream (for cold sore-like stuff I get Denavir and it's excellent) the quicker it'll vanish!
Good luck.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 18:00, Lulu sez:

If you have very pure aloe vera (at least 98%), it can't hurt to put that on, and it'll probably feel nice. In chinese medicine as far as I understand it, rashy ouchy skin breakouts (i.e. both the things you have) result from too much heat in the system, so eat cooling foods - melon, most other fruit, tofu, lettuce, etc.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 18:17, Howard sez:

Let's skip the sauna tomorrow night. ;-)

I have some live aloe plants.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 18:47, jack sez:

dude, I've had 'em and it looks like herpes.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 18:51, Judy sez:

I suspect it could have something to do with the all out spa experience....Maybe an allergic reaction to one of those many ointments they used.
I wonder about lice if your head is still itching.... Don't know what to say about the ear thing....Sounds like a dermatologist is in your future. Go direct to not stop at general pract. They call everything contact dermatitis.
I agree with sauna tomorrow night.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 19:17, Chris Beaumont sez:


I would try several things. Try taking around 500 mg of non-time-release niacin and then around an hour later (while you have the niacin flush) a bath - every night.

While you are in the bath, scrub all over, especially the effected area, with a medicated antibacterial soap.

That will open up your pores, and then, while they are open, cleanse them.

Do this every day, at least once. More if you are able to..

My guess is that maybe you may have a mild case of some kind of infection in your skin, kind of like atheletes foot or a yeast infection.. (a trichomonas bacteria)

They are very common..

Medications might also help..antifungal ones..

I used to have athletes foot and nomatter what sprays or powders I tried, it just wouldnt go away..

When I started doing the above, it went away and it hasnt come back..

If the above doesnt help the bumps heal up, definitely see a doctor immediately!

commentson 26 October 2003 : 19:23, C(h)ristine sez:

If you need a recommendation, you can check out the doctor listings on or email me offline, I know a great general practitioner M.D. who can address that.

commentson 26 October 2003 : 19:37, liminal girl sez:

from your description, it sounds more like a parasitic infection and less like an allergic reaction...i know that sounds horrifying but it's more common than we think (apparently over 80% of americans are infected...??) anyway, here is a excellent, informative website by the centers of disease control:

good luck!

commentson 26 October 2003 : 21:41, alias sez:

"result of a relationship ending "

What relationship, did I miss something???

Still, I usually get lumps at the beginning of the relationship, mainly around the lips. I need to meet a better class of person, me-thinks :)


commentson 27 October 2003 : 00:45, Jon sez:

"I'll have to call up my $50/month health insurance provider"

PLEASE TELL ME WHO THIS IS, I NEED HEALTH INSURANCE URGENTLY MYSELF. THIS IS A SERIOUS REQUEST, HENCE THE CAPS. (seriously dude, please take a moment to share info on where I can get a deal like that)

commentson 27 October 2003 : 06:19, Rash O'man sez:

I think it's eczema. I had a similar rash on my feet under the rubber part of my Tevas. It comes from being hot and sweaty. My bet is the hot tub did it. Nothing is worse than looking up rashes on the internet. When I checked Google for my foot rash, somehow I determined that I had been bitten by a spider during my sleep. There are spiders with flesh eating venom! I say get off the net and see a nice doctor with comforting bedside manner.

commentson 27 October 2003 : 06:21, Francesco sez:

hey Justin,

that doesn't look good but I'm pretty sure it's nothing bad (nothing our modern medicine can't cure). It reminds me of herpes blisters but the location is too strange...

Anyway all this talking of health insurances reminds me of how lucky we are here in Europe (and, yes, in Italy too) that the health-care system is mainly public and that it's so much easier to get cures if you need to...though lately it's getting "americanized" (read privatized) and we complain, we still have a good system.

Just a comment from overseas :)

Good luck Justin!


commentson 27 October 2003 : 06:22, Rash O'man sez:

In fact, hiding it with your hair might be adding to the rash by adding oils and keeping it warm and covered.

commentson 27 October 2003 : 08:09, Don Wrege sez:

When stress brought about something like this on my forehead many years ago, the only thing that cured it (after months of agony) was a few Valium taken over about three days. It cleared up immediately and never came back.


commentson 27 October 2003 : 08:43, anne sez:

smacks to me of the work of the korean skin burrower, a small nematode frequently found in spas and hot tubs, that burrows into your skin and makes its nest there.

just kidding. sorry, bad joke. but i couldn't resist.

seriously, though, i think that by now you would know what pimples look and feel like, so if your instinct tells you this is something else, go with that. besides, pimples rarely cluster like that. most likely it's some sort of contact dermatitis or simple skin irritation (have you looked elsewhere on your head, to see if there are bumps there? the cause of itching? or maybe even look into seeing if you can find lice, but usually you will find bumps on your neck).

regardless, i think you should leave it alone! do not spread ointments, do not scrub the area. if it is herpes or something contagious, that will spread it like wild fire.

heck, if you haven't seen the doctor in five years, what the hell, go ahead and go. better to be safe than sorry. or to go to london and find your entire body covered with these things.

oh, and try not to touch it.

commentson 27 October 2003 : 08:50, justin sez:

Thanks all, great advice. It's comforting just to have some vague notion of what this is. Even if it is a common Korean sauna-spread nematode or facial herpes.

I have health insurance with; I found that through I was just able to make an appointment for a half hour from now! Off I go for an internal medicine checkup, and then we'll see about a dermatologist. And maybe some prescription drugs!

commentson 27 October 2003 : 11:04, alison sez:

years ago, when i was going through my divorce, my head itched so badly it kept me up all night. i developed sores as well, but they were a result of all the scratching. since the first episode, whenever i become unusually stressed or depressed, i itch like a motherfucker. i have spoken to doctors about this, and its a very normal occurance. unfortunately the only cure is to not be upset, but benadryl does help ease the itching and help me sleep at night.
good luck buddy-ive been there and it sucks.

commentson 27 October 2003 : 13:27, sez:

The bump on your ear could be an earring stud or backing. It is not uncommon for small studs or backings to get "stuck" in the ear...usually those earrings are not replaced often so they are not often taken off. What can happen is the skin could break, become infected and then swell around the stud, eventually growing over. If that is the case, the little bugger will need to be surgically removed.

commentson 27 October 2003 : 13:44, james sez:

as several have suggested, this looks like herpes.
the location is strange, but, herpes will come out anywhere, really, especially in locations that you might rub unawares, like yr forehead.
IF it is indeed herpes, you will be apt to get it again and again, in the same spot.

commentson 27 October 2003 : 15:08, alison sez:

cold sores hurt, not itch.

commentson 27 October 2003 : 15:19, justin sez:

Thanks for all the discussion here - it helped me feel like I had a range of possibilities to work with. Today I received a diagnosis - shingles.

commentson 29 October 2003 : 04:06, Joćo Paglione sez:

"figure out how to relax. I've made some plans to visit a ranch in Texas and go hiking in California. I'm not sure what relaxing is exactly - I love processing, thinking, making media, wherever, whenever."


When you figure out how to relax, let me know. I seem to be having the same problem ever since I started my non-profit. But I guess it has always been like that with these personality types..

good luck!

commentson 29 October 2003 : 20:59, Joćo Paulo Freire Paglione sez:


Your mainpage looks corrupted on my browser IE 5.01. The side bar is layered over the top...

commentson 14 April 2004 : 17:01, anjela sez:

Sorry about your having shingles......I had a strange eyeache that ran down the back of my neck and a facial spasm -with huge fatigue for past 6 weeks....lo and behold today the headache stopped and my head-at least the scalp is with bumps all along the nerve path. I was diagnosed with shingles a week ago. interested to know how you did following the outbreak? did the bumps continue or was that it?
I am due to travel on saturday so wondering if my stamina will hold for a day or two.
good luck and anyone with any ideas who has had shingles be happy to hear from you.

February 2005 - comments are closed on Thanks.