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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, General pratice
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 35589
Experience:  Years of outpatient experience treating dermatological problems
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About 10 years ago I embedded wire wool in my hands, I still

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About 10 years ago I embedded wire wool in my hands, I still suffer from calluses on my hands. To ease the pain when black particles break out around these areas I massage with Coconut Oil and a multitude of black particles come to the surface. There seems no end to this condition, I wonder if it is still the remains of the wire wool or some dermatological condition caused by the original condition. I was hoping that you could express your views on the likelihood of which of these scenarios is most likely.
Kind regards
Hi and sorry for the delay. Do you have a photo of these black particles?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry I don't and I may have technical difficulties in transferring a photograph to my Samsung tablet from my camera and then emailing it to you as an attachment.

Whilst I am trying to obtain information to enable me to do this, would you be able to express your initial thoughts on my condition. What I can tell you is that the black particles are easily visible to the naked eye and I would say they are about a fifth of the size of a grain of sugar.

As I mentioned they come to the surface (apart from when there is an eruption ), if I massage my hands with pharmaceutical oil. It is quite painful when they come to the surface of the skin, particularly on the backs of my hands.

A lot of them are congregated where the wrist meets the palm, where the palm meets the fingers, and at creases in the palms. In these areas there are calluses.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards, Stuart.

OK--so in between times your hands are fine? And besides the particles and calluses any other changes in the skin of your hands? And have you ever seen a doctor about this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Following the initial injury caused by me taking out my personal frustrations on the oven of a gas cooker using wire wool without wearing gloves, I received attention from A&E - basically a dressing and a course of antibiotics.

Later my doctor on examining my hands and extracting a few short strands refused to believe that there were a multitude of foreign bodies and it seemed to me that he inferred that it was psychosomatic.

(Incidentally the same doctor took early retirement following on from a Court case where it was shown that he had been guilty of assigning a condition as psychosomatic instead of referring the patient for specialist assessment. The patient had considerably later seen another doctor, been referred to a specialist and successfully treated.) Sorry, I had to get that 'off my chest!

A number of years later I presented myself at A&E, unfortunately the by now the presumably degraded fibres did not show up on an X-Ray, and I went away, perhaps being over-sensitive, feeling my credibility further damaged. I have not subsequently had the strength of mind to pursue the matter.

Sorry to subject you to all that. Finally and probably a lot more relevant, its not true to say there are no problems in between. If ever I break my skin, say gardening or working on the car etc. , the wound takes months to heal, as the scab is surrounded by reddish raised skin with a build up of black matter both surrounding the scab and embedded in the scab. To help it heal, I often massage with oil which removes the debris but within a day or two the wound once again resembles the pre-treatment condition. Some times it takes 3 or 4 weeks before the wound remains 'clean' and heals. However, the area remains slightly raised and the skin callus-like.

Looking forward to your response, Stuart.

Thanks for the information Stuart. Just one more question--have you had a dermatologist look at this and any problem with your skin other than in your hands?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The only medical attention I have received in relation to this problem are those I referred to in my previous note.

Other than that, no I haven't consulted a dermatologist for any other skin conditions and have had no other issues with my skin.

Kind regards, Stuart.

OK Stuart--and we can continue beyond this if you'd like. This sounds like a severe inflammatory eczema condition. If there are small pieces of wire still embedded under the skin, unfortunately there really isn't anything that would get rid of those. I'd try a powerful steroid cream like tacrolimus or piimecrolimus--I've had good results with those in my patients. They're by prescription and the best thing for you to do is see a dermatologist about this
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just one last question; I hope!

Does your diagnosis of severe inflammatory eczema account for the small black particles or are you suggesting that they are the degraded remains of the Wire -wool.

Thank you for your help, much appreciated,


No, those aren't the wire themselves--just keratinized skin from the inflammation. Do let me know how it goes Stuart and please remember to rate my service to you
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