A 23-year-old Chicago man had a pimple that was bothering him when he decided to try to get rid of it himself. Unfortunately, he could not have predicted what havoc that would cause. (Warning: The photo below is graphic.)
According to the Daily Mail, a construction worker caught a severe fungal infection on his lower lip after attempting to pop a pimple using his carpentry blade.
A case report published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine revealed that the construction worker went to see a doctor with a painful lesion under his lower lip, which had been growing for several months, according to Science Alert.
Doctors described the lesion as “a large, heme-crusted, verrucous, erythematous plaque with a Rolle, indurated border on the lower vermillion and cutaneous lips.”
The young man was not experiencing any other symptoms, such as headaches, fever, weight loss, chills, or major discomfort, so doctors were not quite sure what to make of the case. Then, he revealed that he had used a “woodworking blade” to cut off a pimple shortly before the lesion began growing.
A skin biopsy revealed what exactly was growing on the mans lip: spores of a fungus called Bastomyces dermatitidis, which caused a fungal infection known as blastomycosis.
According to Science Alert, the fungus is typically found in soil, as well as wet, decaying wood near rivers and streams. The fungal infection typically occurs after people breathe in the spores. In about 70 percent of patients, blastomycosis presents itself as a lung infection.
The CDC reported that only about half of all patients infected with blastomycosis will show any symptoms at all. The symptoms typically will include fever, cough, weight loss, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, and night sweats.
It is possible for the spores to enter the body through an open wound, though it is rare. Doctors said that to date, there have only been about 50 cited cases of contracting blastomycosis in this manner. Many of the cases involved morgue workers, and others involved dog handlers who were bitten by an infected animal.
Doctors believe that the construction worker’s situation is the first known case of the infection being caused by a woodworking blade. The patient denied traveling anywhere in the months leading up to his infection or spending any time around ill friends or family members.
Doctors wrote in the journal that the infection was “likely initiated” by the carpentry blade.
The reason the patient did not present flu-like symptoms common with this type of infection is because once on the skin, the fungus usually stays there and will not travel to the lungs.
The infection was most likely caused by dirt being on the blade that the patient used to pop his pimple.