After five years of seeing various doctors including three dermatologists who have offered nothing, this website, which I stumbled across by accident, has opened the door finally to finding a diagnosis.
Whether relevant I am not sure, but am of Irish descent ( probably renowned for sensitive skins ) and have lived in Africa for 28yrs. A few months ago came across the name "rodent ulcer", wondered if this could be relevant because it is caused by sun exposure.
For the past five years I have had multiple facial ulcers, the first started near my mouth progressing in an erratic pattern about an inch towards my cheek, it seemed to effect the perotid gland. Prober as I am, I was alarmed to stumble across a fine hair at least 1 1/2 inches, it was unbelievably painful to remove; it was followed by a few shorter hairs and a (pocket) of concentrated tiny hairs, a white cell attached (not a normal follicle). It seemed to me that the white "cell" indicated inflammation.
A narrow ridge about 2" long formed in my cheek, it had a muscular quality to it, the end although fairly deep approx 1/2in. could be viewed from the opening of the ulcer on the skin surface. It had a tiny aperture at the end. The first ulcer took two years to heal.
Towards the end of the second year, had a MRI which was not helpful, but have continued to have ulcers lasting from a week to five months.
In most cases I have located many hairs of various lengths, mostly about 1/4 in, some embedded in the skin
prior to locating a nodule, extracting the longer hairs often causes profuse bleeding. The nodules are generally white in a flacid state, when pulled they seem to turn a deep pink, they appear to be attached to the inner lining of the skin. At times a jelly-like substance breaks off.
The removal of hair and tissue like debris seems to encourage the healing process, the presence of hair seems to irritate and encourage inflammation.
In evey case the healing process is painful and takes a lot of discipline not to probe. The nodule appears to shrink.
The scars generally leave a lump below the surface which can be easily felt from examining the mouth, none of the doctors have deemed it necessary other than the plastic surgeon who initiated the MRI.
Other than two white slightly raised white scar like areas of about an 1/8 in. above my lip, one of which has turned into an ulcer, generally all activity is below the surface
The closest condition that appears to relate to me is
"fibrofolliculoma" but abscent, is the presence of hair growing within the skin itself. I wondered if it could be partially hormone related, my age at 49, is when women typically undergo various changes, in my case the most relevant is an increase in facial hair growth.
It is a bizarre, confusing and frustrating condition, particularly because there are times when I am sufficiently self conscious that I remain at home for days.
Is it any wonder that some of these doctors seem to think that I need a psychiatrist or am delusional. Neither are true but at times I do feel like Frankenstein's sister.