Dr Pixie V/O: 32 year old Geoff Baker has a problem he hopes Dr Jessen can guide in the right direction.
Geoff: Other people do notice, like my little nieces ask “Do you have chicken pox?”.
Receptionist: Dr Jessen’s ready for you now.
Geoff: It’s gone on and on for years, it’s been like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel really.
Dr Christian: Alright, what can I do for you?
Geoff: Basically I’ve been having terrible problems with my skin, I think the current underlying problem is ingrowing hairs which can become infected and cause scarring and be quite distressing basically.
Dr Christian: Right yeah, how long have you been having that for?
Geoff: Ever since I was a teenager, so it’s been going on most of my life.
Dr Christian: What you had acne and spots and things like that?
Geoff: Yeah, but as you’re getting older you sort of think perhaps my skin problems should be getting better now.
Dr Christian: You would hope wouldn’t you? Do you shave over this part of your face?
Geoff: Well this is sort of my beard line; the hairs grow right the way up the cheeks.
Dr Christian: What I’d like to do is sit you up on the couch and just have a look and see what’s going on.
Geoff: Yeah sure.
Dr Christian: Let’s have a look; just turn your head to the left for me. Let’s have a look. Yeah so you do have a lot of little fine black hairs I can see, and lots of little scabs and things. Turn your head this way. Same as this side but here you’ve also got whiteheads, little pussy heads, and I can actually see some little dark sort of hairs that I think are growing in there and it looks like they are all in growing. So I actually think this is a form of folliculitis, which is infections which get into the hair follicle itself ok? So I think I might be worth trying laser hair removal. How does that sound to you as an idea?
Geoff: Well it sounds excellent because to be honest with you I’ve got to the stage where I’m willing to try anything.
Dr Pixie V/O: With the average adult male growing over half a millimetre of facial hair a day, out of tens of thousands of tiny follicles it’s hardly surprising that a large number of men suffer some form of folliculitis. The condition is found mainly on the face, it looks a lot like acne but it is in fact caused by ingrowing hairs or bacterial infection to the follicle. This creates soreness and inflammation and is exacerbated by shaving. In extreme cases shaving becomes impossible and antibiotics are required. The best thing to do is to stop the hair from growing, so Geoff will have the hair follicles lasered which is the most successful treatment. Between four and six treatments should do the trick, but zapping those pesky follicles is not permanent and top up blasts are required.
A patient who has been suffering since he was a teenager with ingrowing hair on his face is at his wits end and asks Dr Christian Jessen for advice. In this consultation from series one of Embarrassing Illnesses, Dr Jessen recommends a course of laser treatment to remove the afflicting hairs and provide some relief…
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