Antibiotics

Antibiotics

October 26, 2017

Antibiotics

For about 20 years I have had an annoying staph skin infection. It is manageable but can cause some spots and irritation. I believe it stemmed from when I was just out of school and had a skin infection. These were reasonably common with big puss like boils on my legs at times as a kid. For as long as I could remember until my twenties, the glands in my groin were really pronounced. It was like half a golf ball on either side. This was just what I thought was normal and no one seemed too stressed about it. When I was just out of school I had a persistent infection on my legs which required multiple rounds of antibiotics. My legs were covered in heaps of small spots that would just not go away. They appeared to be around the hair follicles so I even waxed my legs. The problem with a scratcher is that it is easy to take the tops off these and spread the infection. Even more so when you are asleep and cant control where you scratch. 

An appointment with a hospital specialist in Wellington recommended a chlorhexidine body scrub in the shower to control the infection. I worried this scrub could have been an irritant to my skin so wanted to stop using it. Plus, having this infection was a pain in the butt. Prior to my significant flare-up that triggered this whole saga, I had stopped using the scrub on advice from my local doctor. It had gone well to start with. A surprisingly long period without issue. Maybe I got sick, maybe my immune system got low, maybe the flare-up caused it but then my infection came back hard. I got it back under control but lost faith in the no scrub idea. I tapered the use back though and only used the scrub approx once per week instead of daily. I was also a little worried about becoming a human petrie dish for mutating bacteria.

Back to the current day with the dermatologist. After the successful and unsuccessful steroid experiment, it was time for another tangent. My dermatologist recommended Light Therapy, UVB light treatments at his rooms to suppress the underlying flare up. I checked at this appointment to see if there was anything I could do about the infection. I wanted to eliminate the infection or the scrub as a possible trigger for my flare-ups. 

A little chicken and egg (as in I was not sure which came first), was it the infection causing the flare-ups or the flare-ups enabling the infection. Then there was the third choice, was it just when my immune system was low that both happened? 

Optimistically, to find out which made the improvement, light therapy or antibiotics, I decided to do them separately. I was going to start with the antibiotics. To put this into perspective, I hate taking tablets. I will harden up rather than taking painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs. I have avoided taking antibiotics now for years and years. Kind of a principle thing but I was determined to get on top of this skin flare up and get back to easy management that I knew was possible.

I was prescribed a 3-month course of Roxithromycin. One tablet morning and night. I trusted him so was prepared to give it a go. Let’s see how that goes.



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