Voiceover: 35 year old John Hunter lives and works on the beautiful Rosebury Estate, just outside Edinburgh. John has suffered from a mysterious problem on his head for over 4 years.
John: The back of my head now has very little hair, it’s all lumps and bumps which keep bursting and pus comes out and they scab over. I can’t sleep at night because it’s so painful.
Voiceover: John is at the end of his tether and has booked an appointment to see Dr Harper.
Dr Dawn: Good to see you. Tell me what can I do for you?
John: I’ve got a bit of a skin problem at the back of my head. It’s got really, really bad over the last 4 years and I’m just looking for a bit of help. I’m at the end of my tether with it.
Dr Dawn: Sure, can I have a little look at it? Ooh John that looks really… is that sore?
John: It’s very sore, yep.
Dr Dawn: And that just erupted did it, 4 years ago?
John: Yeah, the doctor thought it was a cyst. And then over the last 4 years it steadily got into the condition it’s in.
Dr Dawn: That is really nasty acne. Have you seen specialists or anything?
John: I’ve been to see a dermatologist over the last 3 years. It has him stumped as well, he hasn’t a clue what it is either. It’s got to the stage now that he’s talking about plastic surgery.
Dr Dawn: So they would take all of that diseased skin and then take a skin graft from your thigh or something. It’s pretty major, isn’t it? How would you feel about us arranging a second opinion, so another dermatologist, just to see?
John: That would be wonderful. I felt really good. A second opinion doesn’t harm anybody. To have my health back would mean the world to me.
Voiceover: John Hunter’s condition is so bad that his doctors have been treating him for the last 4 years believing plastic surgery to be the only way forward.
John: If I was going to go through with the plastic surgery my life stops, I can’t even bear to think about it.
Voiceover: But John is now on his way to see Dr Chopra, a dermatologist on London’s Harley Street to see if there’s another way to treat his condition.
Dr Chopra: Do you mind if I have a look?
John: Yes, of course.
Dr Chopra: Ok, now you probably know the name of this condition sir. It’s called Acne Keloidis.
John: That’s the first I’ve heard that.
Voiceover: At last, it seems John’s condition has a name.
Dr Chopra: The difference between normal acne is that you’ve got the blockage, you get infection, you get red boils and you get pus. But in the keloidal form this leads to extensive scarring.
Voiceover: And Dr Chopra believes that with a course of tablets, a special shampoo and regular injections of steroid cream, John could see a significant improvement in only 6 weeks.
Dr Chopra: I can get these bumps flat enough for you to grow your hair to cover it. We’re going to make this look a lot better for you.
John: To be told that after 4 years that I was looking forward to a skin graft and then to come down to London to be told I can be better in 6 weeks time, it’s a miracle as far as I’m concerned.
Voiceover: 5 weeks ago John Hunter was saved from plastic surgery when dermatologist Dr Chopra said he was confident he could clear up the acne on the back of his head. So John is now back to show Dr Harper the results.
Dr Dawn: So you went to the specialist. What did he do for you?
John: Dr Chopra gave me lotions and creams and tablets to take.
Dr Dawn: And how long have you been having that treatment for now?
John: 4 or 5 weeks.
Dr Dawn: Ok, can I have a look at it?
John: Of course you can.
Dr Dawn: Oh wow! That’s amazing. It is absolutely incredible. I mean you were having all of this cut out, weren’t you, before?
Dr Dawn: That is just fantastic. Are you pleased?
John: I can’t explain how I feel. It’s so overwhelming with how good it feels.
Dr Dawn: Well, there’s no need to tell you how to keep up the treatment is there?
John: No, not at all.
Dr Dawn: Well thank you for coming back and showing me, it’s brilliant.
John: Thanks for your help. The last 2 or 3 weeks I’ve really noticed a big difference. It’s not sore anymore and I’m going to bed and sleeping and feel as normal as I should be feeling.
Consultation: Acne Keloidalis
A patient receives treatment for the disfiguring condition Acne Keloidalis.
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