What is this rash around my mouth?
November 20, 2012 2:06 PM   Subscribe

You Are Not My Doctor, but can you help me identify a rash around my mouth? (Pics inside, as well as description that you might or might not think is gross.)

Pic 1

Pic 2

(Pics are after a shower)

Hey so I have this rash around my lip and on my chin. You're not my doctor, but I was hoping someone (or several people) could say, "Yup, that's thrush, get yourself an antifungal" or something like that.

Backstory in case it's relevant: I had a cold sore on my lip probably a month ago by now, that healed up in about a week thanks to Abreva, but then something else appeared on the corner of my mouth, which I figured was another cold sore. Chalked it up to it being a stressful week at work as well stress from packing up and moving soon, going on a diet, not getting enough sleep, etc. There was some weeping/pus (although not sure if it was mostly just the lip balm I was putting on it) and it seemed to heal. But now it's been about two or three weeks and it looks like it's spreading and it doesn't look like herpes at this point (right?). I think the spreading was due either to my licking it or trying to shave around it.

It kind of stings, like there's a bit of heat on it, especially if I stretch it out with my tongue. It just feels (and kind of looks) like raw skin.

I'm putting a lip balm type of thing on it, I also put aloe vera gel on it for a day, which seemed to really dry it out. It just occurred to me today that maybe I should be more proactive about it and that it might be some kind of bacterial/fungal infection.

Thanks for any tips you can give.
posted by Busoni to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try Google Image searching "impetigo" and see if you see anything that looks familiar.

And go see a doctor, and stop using that gel/balm on it (throw the balm away, I suggest)...
(I'm not your doctor, this is not medical advice, etc)
posted by treehorn+bunny at 2:15 PM on November 20, 2012 [4 favorites]

Here's another pic because it looks different after a few minutes out of the shower and I've put the balm on it.

And I have to use the balm because it dries out if I don't. I'm not double dipping though so it's not like I'm contaminating the batch.
posted by Busoni at 2:17 PM on November 20, 2012

Do what my distant cousin treehorn+bunny says, she's a doctor, although she doesn't play one on TV.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:22 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

It looks about the same to me.

Still looks like impetigo.

Notice the characteristic "honey colored crust", and the peri-oral location. I can't diagnose you over the internet. And good that you're not double dipping, but letting it dry is not necessarily a bad thing. How about just soap and water. And seeing your doctor. :-)
posted by treehorn+bunny at 2:22 PM on November 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I was ready to come in and tell you about how some people get reactions to tartar control toothpaste, but . . . I don't like the way that looks at all.

It looks fungus-y and as if it were actively spreading, to me.

(PS: cocoa butter is excellent for dry lips!)
posted by MeiraV at 2:29 PM on November 20, 2012

Yes I can schedule a doctor's appointment, but it's 11:30 pm where I am and when I get on the phone tomorrow it's probably going to be another two weeks before I can get an appointment at which point it'll probably have cleared up. So thanks, I will call the doctor, but that's the reason I'm posting this here.

If it dries up it starts to bleed a little and hurts a lot.
posted by Busoni at 2:30 PM on November 20, 2012

Actually, this is the pic I meant to post. But yes, it looks like it could be impetigo, thanks. I'm putting five-year-old Bactroban on it until I can get something else.
posted by Busoni at 2:32 PM on November 20, 2012

I had impetigo around the edge of a nostril earlier this year, that seemed to spring up in the aftermath of a cold sore in the same area. I screwed around with Neosporin and other salves, until finally I went to the doctor, and they gave me something that actually worked (mupirocin). It wasn't a 5 year old tube, however.

I also had impetigo on my legs in college, and it spreads easily. A reason to take it seriously, in my opinion, even though it's not a plague or anything.
posted by Coatlicue at 2:35 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Doesn't your doctor's office offer same day appointments? Ask for one of those.
posted by JenMarie at 3:24 PM on November 20, 2012

It's how the medical system works in Norway. I mean I could go to the (kind of) equivalent of the emergency room basically but it would cost more than I feel like paying for it and the wait would be hours.
posted by Busoni at 3:54 PM on November 20, 2012

Please go to the doctor....you need medicine.
posted by irish01 at 7:59 PM on November 20, 2012

It's how the medical system works in Norway. I mean I could go to the (kind of) equivalent of the emergency room basically but it would cost more than I feel like paying for it and the wait would be hours.

Unfortunately, this seems like a situation where the longer you wait, the longer it will take to heal. At the very least, go see a pharmacist.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:08 PM on November 20, 2012

Did you eat mango recently? The skin has the same compounds as poison ivy, and I got a rash that looked very much like yours (very fungus-like) every time I peeled and ate one sloppily, which wasn't very often so it took me awhile to piece it together. I stopped eating them and haven't had an outbreak since.
posted by shrimpsmalls at 7:39 PM on November 21, 2012

shrimpsmalls, a mango allergy is just like an itchy poison ivy rash, plus maybe a fat lip, and resolves on its own in less than 2 weeks. It doesn't last 3 weeks or spread as OP describes, unless infected.
posted by zennie at 1:31 PM on November 25, 2012

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