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  #1  
Old 03-01-2006, 12:43 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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What's leaking out of me and why? (slight TMI)

I think I'm leaking lymph. There's some sort of rash or irritation or something behind my right ear that's leaking some sort of liquid at a fairly steady rate. It's a little bit itchy, but not painful unless I actually touch or rub at the join between my head and my ear. The fluid is viscous, like some light kind of oil, and becomes tacky as it dries, until it's completely dry, when it becomes flaky and builds up on the back of my ear and on the side of my head. When I put a tissue back there to soak things up and knock off the worst of the buildup, you can see that the liquid is yellowish, and the flakes as it dries are a darker yellow.

What the hell is this stuff? I can't get in to see my doctor until the middle of next month, and as far as I can tell, this doesn't qualify as an actual emergency, so I'm asking you folks for opinions (hopefully informed). Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2006, 12:55 PM
Mordib Mordib is offline
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does the oozing stuff smell bad (as in very noticeably)?
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2006, 12:57 PM
elbows elbows is online now
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I'm going to wild ass guess, cellutitus.

Go to doctor, get antibiotic.

And on your way home, stop by the bakery....
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2006, 01:08 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordib
does the oozing stuff smell bad (as in very noticeably)?
No noticeable odor at all, actually.
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2006, 01:20 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Wait, you called your doctor, told them that a strange fluid was leeching out of your body (in a spot that doesn't have a hole) and they told you they could see you in six weeks? Wow, I'd find a new doctor.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2006, 01:21 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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It's your #5 Mandibular Joint Lubricating Fluid. Report to the Stepford Repair Facility under the Gazebo in the Town Common.










Seriously, Get Thee To a Doctor. He'll allay your fears, if nothing else.
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2006, 01:23 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Could be some sort of allergy. Shampoo can change ingredients without notice and there ya are...all ooozing and leeeeeeaking.
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  #8  
Old 03-01-2006, 01:23 PM
Turek Turek is offline
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I get this sometimes if I miss rinsing a little soap off my ears when I shower. It causes the skin to dry and crack a little bit and ooze. I've always labeled it "pus," but I'm sure there's a more scientific term for it. I put a little hand lotion or, if it's really bad, hydrocortisone cream on it, and it clears up in a couple days.
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  #9  
Old 03-01-2006, 01:26 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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I could try again and throw the "c" word (cellulitis) at them to see if it hooks anything. The thought definitely gave me pause, considering that I was in the hospital for half of January with it.
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  #10  
Old 03-01-2006, 01:38 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
and they told you they could see you in six weeks? Wow, I'd find a new doctor.
Okay, that's my fault...I forgot it was March 1 and meant the middle of THIS month...so 2 weeks, not 6.
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  #11  
Old 03-01-2006, 01:43 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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It's only knowledge. Your brain is full.
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2006, 02:40 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
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Tmi

My vote is "skin juice", seriously. If I get an abrasion that takes off a large patch of the outermost layer of skin, it leaves a wet, reddish, spot that doesn't bleed. There's a slow oozing of fluid. When enough of the fluid collects, it forms a crust. The aggravating part is that the crust washes off with only a tiny amount of moisture, and is absorbed by the gauze pad of band-aids. I've found that the only solution is to keep the area uncovered and dry (even in the shower) for a day or two. The crust dries and hardens and the skin heals underneath it.

I actually had this on both ears after forgetting my sunscreen one day. I went home and took a nap. I woke up to find that the skin behind my ears had split open, and leaked a straw colored fluid. The fluid had dried into hard flakes, gluing my hair to my ears. Later on, all exposed skin on my body began peeling in pieces large enough to use as bookmarks.

Anyway, it sounds to me like you had some kind of scratch that took off the topmost layer of skin there. Let the fluid dry over that area. Take baths, spongebaths, or use one of those removable showerheads. You will not be able to wash your hair for a day or two.
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2006, 05:57 PM
ryobserver ryobserver is offline
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Sounds like serum, which is the liquid part of blood and tends to ooze out of any sore or abrasion that isn't oozing actual blood. It's not that bad as long as it's clear. If it turns cloudy, that's pus, and you need medical attention a lot sooner than the middle of next month.

Pus is more likely to form if you keep touching the raw spot. If you can't bandage it, at least keep your fingers off. Wash and dry the area gently, and otherwise try to leave it alone.

I had a similar problem myself years ago. Having lost the back of a gold earring, I replaced it with a back from a much cheaper pair. Within a day or two my earlobe were itching, but I paid no attention until one morning I scratched my ear and my fingers became wet. I hadn't just showered, so I knew there weren't many places the moisture could have come from. I removed the earring, went to a mirror and bent my earlobe far enough forward to see its back; there was a red raw oozy spot the exact size and shape of the earring back. That was how I learned I'm allergic to nickel.

Your problem may also be allergic dermatitis, or irritant dermatitis, or some other kind of dermatitis. Do you wear glasses? Suffer from dry skin? Not always wash behind your ears as Mom told you to? Did you recently change soaps or shampoos, or start dabbing a new perfume behind your ears? Are you itching anywhere else?
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2006, 07:44 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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I do wear glasses, actually, but I've done so for over 25 years and the seeping is new. It's possible I'm allergic to the facial cleansing cloths I just started using, but wouldn't that be all over and not just behind my ear?
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2006, 08:32 PM
Fretful Porpentine Fretful Porpentine is online now
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That sounds exactly like something that happened to my ear years ago. Being a dumb teenager, I never saw a doctor and have no idea what caused it, but I've never been in the habit of wearing glasses, earrings, or perfume.

It finally crusted over and healed when I stopped touching the raw spot (which took a while; see my remarks about being a dumb teenager).
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  #16  
Old 03-01-2006, 10:24 PM
choosybeggar choosybeggar is offline
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Disclaimer: this is not medical advice

Sounds like seborrheic dermatitis. Usually itchy but can get tender and oozy. Treatments include over-the-counter and prescription medicated shampoos (head and shoulders, selsun blue, T-gel, nizoral) and topical steroids (hydrocortisone, or stronger prescription formulations).

Psoriasis is a distant second in terms of likelihood. Treatment is similar but it tends to require higher potency medications.

Usually a combination of selsun blue (leave in for 5-10 minutes) daily and 1% hydrocortisone cream twice daily should produce improvement.

-Choosy (dermatologist)
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  #17  
Old 03-02-2006, 01:23 AM
Catfood Purrito Catfood Purrito is offline
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Oddly enough, I just got over the exact same thing, but only I had it behind both ears, and it kept going on and off for like 4 months, hydrocortisone cream be damned. Nothing worked. My doctor thought it was an allergy or something, and she had prescribed me triamcinolone cream for another skin issue and told me to use it for that too. It cleared right up, but it came back within days after stopping the triamcinolone. Said triamcinolone didn't do a whole heck of a lot for my other skin issue either, so when I went back last week, she gave me a stronger steroid cream (clobetasol), and the ear thing has been gone for a week! Yay! My other skin issue is healing up nicely as well.
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  #18  
Old 03-02-2006, 05:58 AM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
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Anything oozing out from behind your ear should be seen by a doctor ASAP, especially since you have tenderness over your mastoid bone (the join between your head and your ear).

Look, if it's just a simple rash, you'll get some ointment and you'll feel a little foolish, but since you're already run down and have a history of serious skin infections and what with the ear being, you know, close to the brain and all, get some proper medical attention ASAP.

This goes double if you have a fever, headache or earache.

Go to your doctor, or your nearest Emergency room, now!
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  #19  
Old 03-02-2006, 08:53 AM
Tripler Tripler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
It's your #5 Mandibular Joint Lubricating Fluid. Report to the Stepford Repair Facility under the Gazebo in the Town Common.
This was the funniest thing I read all week!




Tripler
. . . until I thought to myself, "Wait, isn't mandibular joint fluid blue"?
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  #20  
Old 03-02-2006, 10:55 AM
Amazon Floozy Goddess Amazon Floozy Goddess is offline
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I used to get this same kind of reaction due to contact dermatitis. I can't wear any metals except gold, pewter, surgical steel or silver. Once I wore a ring that was made out of who knows what kind of cheap metal. When I took off the ring at the end of the day, The skin it had touched had turned bright red and had little raised bumps. The bumps leaked a bit of clear sticky fluid for a day or two and then finally scabbed over and healed. Does anything touch your affected area that you could be allergic to - earrings, earpiece of glasses?
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