Reddit Skincare: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

by | Oct 4, 2019 | Blog, Dermatologist, News, Research, skincare, STD

Reddit skincare questions

We tested our dermatology skincare artificial intelligence (AI) search engine algorithm on websites that have photos of skin diseases and present the results in our blog posts.

The accuracy of the search engine is 80% if you include 3 differential answers. Included in the results are links to our skin guide, where people can look through more images of the skin disease and compare. There is also a written text about the skin disease, what it is, how to get it properly diagnosed and how it can be treated.

13 Skincare questions and answers on Reddit were tested

On reddit, users are anonymous and use pseudonyms as real names. You can easily find reddit groups and threads where you can load up images anonymously, describe your condition and ask the community for help. In some cases, the answer to the query may come from a healthcare worker like a dermatology physician assistant, dermatology nurse or a dermatologist. These experts give out their advice freely by looking at the image and also reading the description provided by the user. In most cases, it is amateurs that respond, these are typically people who can relate to the query or are just guessing. Reddit is controlled by moderators and in many cases these moderators have expert knowledge.

Upload your Reddit photo to our anonymous AI algorithm and get your answer instantly

The question is, is Reddit a safe place to ask Skincare or health questions?

It can be hard to know who is answering the questions. Often it is just someone that has had something similar but occasionally your query may be answered by nurse practitioners, medical students, dermatology residents or dermatologists. You can find out if you look up their profile and take a guess from there. 

About our dermatology (skin disease) search engine

You can read more how we built our AI here. In short it can screen for 43 skin diseases and with the top 3 answers that come up there is an 80% chance that your skin disease is in this group, if the disease is part of that sample that has been trained.

We have an API that anyone can use, it can also be tested here on our website where we call it a Skin Image Search. We have positioned it as non diagnostic tool but a search engine on skin diseases and it will compare the image to our database of skin disease and produce a list in ranking order of what the disease could most likely be.

Upload your Reddit photo to our anonymous AI algorithm and get your answer instantly

We tested out our skin disease search engine

Over the period of 24 hours we went into different sub reddit forums and screened questions where a reasonable photo and description of the concern had been uploaded. Below you can read the description and the answers our AI found ranked from 1 – 5. We did not intrude further on the forum by providing the answers that we got so as not to break any rules and act as an authority (your Karma drops if you are too active!).

Sebaceous cyst

Reddit Skincare Sebaceus Cyst back help

 

Reddit user 1 question: Painless weird bump on back — do I need to get it checked out?

Reddit user 2 answer: Looks like a sebaceous cyst. Probably nothing harmful, but wont go away on it’s own.

Reddit user 1 answer: Thanks!!

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

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Cold sore (herpes simplex 1)

Reddit Skincare Cold sore herpes simplex lips help

 

 

Reddit user 1 question: Any idea on how to treat this and what it is? Started off as a small crap on the side of lip.

Reddit user 2 answer: Cold sore. Take L-lysine and get a medicated lip balm from a pharmacy.

Reddit user 3 answer: NAD, but it looks like a cold sore. You can treat it with Abreva or an OTC cold sore medicine.

Reddit user 4 answer: Angular cheilitis? Are you low in B12?

Reddit user 1 answer: I’m taking Oratane for acne which is known to dry out skin if I’m not mistaken

Reddit user 4 answer: Yep. Isotretinoin is a common cause of angular chelitis. It’s probably because of your acne cream. Keep in mind NAD. I’m a medical student… so take my advice with a heaping spoonful of salt

Reddit user 5 answer: yeah isotretinoin is a pill not a cream. agree with angular cheilitis in setting of xerosis. mix lotrimin-hydrocortisone-bacitracin, apply twice daily until healed, then keep the area lubed with vaseline or aquaphor.

Reddit user 6 answer: Herpes and nothing can get rid of the herpes virus . Just put some abreva on it if not ask ur dr for a script for Valtrex also be aware ur can spread that to someone’s genital region so be careful.

Reddit user 7 answer: Try some yeast cream on it. Sounds weird, I know but the same kind you’d get for a vaginal yeast infection. NAD but a nurse and I used to get this like every season (weather I guess?), turned out to be yeast. That and aquaphor to keep it from cracking open over and over.

Reddit user 8 answer: impetigo

 

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

  1. Herpes Simplex
  2. Impetigo
  3. Genital Herpes
  4. Other condition
  5. Infectious, other

Comment. In this case it was difficult for the AI algorithm to distinguish 100% the area of concern, in the database there are genital images that look familiar to this picture. However number one and two are the most probable answers.

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Fungal? (Tinea or Ringworm)

Reddit Skincare fungal face help

 

Reddit user 1 question: I’m wondering what is this?

Reddit user 2 answer: Not a doctor but I’m guessing fungal. Try washing with antidandruff Shampoo for a week and see if it improves.

 

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

Comment. In this case it was difficult for the AI algorithm to distinguish 100% the area of concern. This case is also difficult for a dermatologist to know what it is from just a picture, they would most likely scrape some of the area and send it for fungal analysis to confirm a diagnosis. It is important that before any start of treatment that it is sent for analysis. 

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Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)?

Reddit Skincare ringworm scalp help

 

Reddit user 1 question: Is this tinea or something else?

Reddit user 2 answer: I’d say looks more like ringworm than tinea. Tinea usually is more of a discoloration than a red lesion.

Reddit user 3 answer: They are the same thing 🙂

Reddit user 4 answer: No they aren’t.

 

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

 

Comment.

In this case it was difficult for the AI algorithm to distinguish 100% from the photo. The photo is at an angle and it is not very clear. It is well known that the face and forehead are highly susceptible to skin cancers, because of the exposure to the sun. A better picture or a visit to a dermatologist would be recommended, to rule out any form of skin cancer. A dermatologist would probably use a dermatoscope, which is a magnifying glass with an LED light to see the structure of the lesion more clearly and in depth.  Maybe a biopsy or scraping some of the area and send it for fungal analysis to confirm a diagnosis. It is important that before any start of treatment that it is sent for analysis. 

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Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Reddit Skincare Ringworm groin help

 

Reddit user 1 question: Ringworm? I found this scratchy patch of skin on my back about an hour ago while taking a shower. It concerned me when I saw it’s kind of in an oval shape and have never had anything like it before. Anyone recognize what it might be?

Reddit user 2 answer: Looks like it.

Reddit user 3 answer: Looks like ringworm to me. OTC athlete’s foot medicine will clear it up.

 

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

Comment.

The photo is at an angle and it is not very clear, but the AI algorithm looks to have covered most of the possibilities

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Mole (Nevus)

Reddit Skincare mole ear help

 

Reddit user 1 question: Not noted on previous derm visits, until my husband told me how dark it looked compared to my other moles. Derm shave biopsied and told me it was moderate atypical Nevus so they want to excise more of the area. Can anyone educate me more on what that means?

 

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

  1. Benign, other
  2. Malignant Melanoma
  3. Other condition
  4. Atypical Melanocytic Lesion (Atypical Nevus)
  5. Seborrhoeic Keratosis

Comment.

The photo is at an angle and it is not very clear, because of hands and hair in the way. The ears are prone to sunburn and if this mole has been changing or is new, it is good to have taken a biopsy. Interestingly no one has given her any feedback. 

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Reddit Skincare Not Safe For Work NSFW

 

 

NSFW – Not Safe For Work

The following photos are from people that are worried that they have a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Since Reddit is an anonymous forum this is a popular asking subject from fellow Redditers.

“Not safe for work (NSFW) is an Internet slang or shorthand used to mark URLs and hyperlinks which link to videos or websites pages that contain nudity, intense sexuality, profanity, violence or other potentially disturbing subject matter, which the viewer may not wish to be seen looking at in a public or formal environment, including a workplace, school or in a family setting. NSFW has particular relevance for people trying to make personal use of the Internet at workplaces or schools which have policies prohibiting access to sexual and graphic subject matter.” 

Source: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_safe_for_work

 

Reddit Skincare Not Safe For Work NSFW

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Follicultis?

Reddit Skincare breast boobs help

 

Reddit user 1 question: What is going on under my boobs!? KP? Fungal? Acne?

Reddit user 2 answer: Are you prone to ingrown hairs and irritated follicles?

Reddit user 1 answer: No, apart from my face.

Reddit user 2 answer: Oh. Well, that was my guess. I am prone to said things.

Reddit user 1 answer: This has been going on for what seems like forever but it is getting worse. I’m 10 months post partum and still breastfeeding. I’ve been using Dr Bronner’s tea tree soap most recently and it’s made no difference. My skin under and between my boobs always feels “dirty”….kind of sticky. And smells gross 🙁 I have pretty bad KP on my arms and legs, some acne on my face. I’m halfway through my thirties….I thought I would grow out of this stuff :(. Anyone have similar issues?

Reddit user 3 answer: From what you are saying this sounds fungal. Try using nizoral shampoo as a wash there when you shower. Leave on for 5 minutes each time. Then use baby powder to reduce moisture before putting on a bra. Wash bras frequently.

Reddit user 4 answer: I’ve been going through all of that from my late teens/early twenties (33 now). I’ve always been a big girl and I’ve always had a big chest and those things (plus living in the tropics) make skin issues so much more frustrating.

I did some browsing a couple years ago to see if I can put a name to these experiences, and I came across Hidradenitis Suppurativa. It’s a condition that causes boils and such, but there’s no true cause or cure for it and it isn’t linked to poor hygiene. A lot of what I’ve seen/read made me feel like I could have a mild to moderate case of it. It has mellowed out quite a bit compared to how bad it was some years before. I’m now more prone to getting the boils on my inner thighs.

Those bumps are no joke and just plain nasty. Mine can range from a very small plug or whitehead, to a deep, cystic-type monster. And I just deal with them to suit. I make my own “Tend Skin” at home and apply some to the bump, then I apply some Sudocrem (an antiseptic healing cream) and cover it with a bandaid or gauze and surgical tape.

As I got older, I’ve taken many steps back from the many products I used to use. I clean my skin with Simple soap and I use exfoliating gloves each time since I have very oily skin. Then I apply cocoa butter to moisturize and also to help fade dark scars. When I know I’m gonna be very active, I put some medicated powder under my breasts after moisturizing.

Reddit user 5 answer: Maybe you should tag this NSFW. I am not sure, maybe your bra is irritating your skin? Have you changed laundry detergents or anything?

Reddit user 6 answer: If you squeeze the bumps does anything come out or are they just hard bumps?

Reddit user 1 answer: White stuff does come out and sometimes little hairs. It’s not like puss…more creamy? And the big bumps have like fibrous pearls that would have to be yanked out otherwise the bump won’t heal. 🙁

Reddit user 6 answer: Someone else might know better but I use stridex in the red box for any clogged pores and stuff along those lines and it seems to work great for me! Plus it’s a relatively cheap option. Might be worth a shot

Reddit user 7 answer: I get these smaller white things all the time too! I suspect it’s fungal, but I don’t have any proof of that, and I haven’t found anything that clears them up. They seem to be hair follicles that just fill up with sebum/pus (though as you say, it’s creamier somehow). If squeezed/emptied, they’ll refill. Mine haven’t gotten any worse or better in the past ten years, they just stay the same – I wonder if the hormones in childbirth and breastfeeding triggered something in yours?

I hope you find a solution!

Reddit user 8 answer: Check if it’s hidradenitis supparativa I have the same skin condition and it started out like that.

Reddit user 9 answer: Fungal. Can use a powder underneath. This is the most common area of the body for fungal infection due to the fold and darkness keeping dampness in. Make sure you really get the towel under your breasts to dry that area after showering and then apply the antifungal powder.

Reddit user 10 answer: Those are clogged pores man . Pls exfoliate . If it stinks, there’s bacteria hanging out and having brunch over your dead skin cells and sweat . Get a good loofah and soap that has vit c. Also try exfoliating pads like neogen lemon from the Koreans . That gets rid of clogged anything. Free the Nipple too !

Reddit user 11 answer: I was thinking something along the lines of this too. Also, not wearing dirty bras.

Reddit user 12 answer: It looks like ingrown hairs you can also try high quality Manuka honey from New Zealand if it is an infection.

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

Comment. In this case it was difficult for the AI algorithm to distinguish 100% what the bumps could be. This is why it is important to take a clear photo in good lighting and the are of concern is in the picture. There are many different skin “bumps” in the picture, most likel answer is probably folliculitis.

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Molluscum Contagiosum?

Reddit Skincare Molluscum contagiosum penis help

 

 

Reddit user 1 question: What is this rash?

Hi all.

I’ve been in a monogamous relationship for a few years now, however I have had sexual contact prior to that. About three weeks ago now I noticed some smallish bumps on the shaft of my penis, and naturally freaked out. After maybe a week or so of having the bumps, I went to a doctor to get screened for STDs. I then had the unfortunate time of telling my significant other I might have an STD.

But, all of the tests came back negative. Specifically, both strains of the Herpes virus came back negative via blood test, which I’ve read is like 99% accurate. But now I still have this rash, maybe even a tad bit worse than it was then, and I’m not sure what to do. The doctor that examined me said it looked like it could be herpes but offered no other advice. I could (and probably will) schedule another appointment, but I also don’t really know how my insurance will handle it.

So, Reddit, any idea what this is? I’ve been staring at pictures online all day but I can’t really tell for sure.

Edit: Also, just as a side note, the bumps are not isolated to that spot entirely. There are a few on various parts of my penis, potentially one small one on the head of my penis, and three or four on my pubic area (lower abdomen?)

Reddit user 2 answer: Some look a bit like mulluscom but others don’t.

Reddit user 1 answer: The mystery continues!

Reddit user 3 answer: Did you inform the clinic you were concerned about a rash? Did they do a visual and give you an opinion.

If you were negative for herpes, you are likely looking at folliculitis, an infection of the hair follicles which may need to be addressed by a dermatologist, or some other skin infection. It is likely not an STI.

Reddit user 1 answer: Yea the doctor looked at it but just said it looks like it could be herpes, but she was confused because it wasn’t painful.

I’m gonna make a dermatologist appointment tomorrow. Hooray for having to show my penis rash to more strangers!

Reddit user 4 answer: Would you mind letting us know what the derm thinks?

Reddit user 5 answer: Okay, I would necessarily rule out herpes for the following reasons:

A blood test is not 99% accurate. They actually aren’t offered in the UK by our national healthcare service because they aren’t considered accurate enough; herpes.org.uk advises that blood tests cannot be used to diagnose herpes due to their inaccuracy, with a third of all blood tests showing as false negatives.

This aside, a blood test wouldn’t show up as positive for you if you were recently infected (which is probably the case given you’ve only just started showing symptoms). This is because blood tests work by detecting antibodies your body produces to fight the herpes virus. It takes time after infection for you to develop the antibodies.

Herpes blisters are often, but not always, painful.

The best way to find out whether or not this is herpes is to get this swabbed ASAP! A PCR swab is the most accurate. I’d also have a little google of molluscum contagiosum to see if your symptoms match up with that.

Reddit user 1 answer: Any reason why they wouldn’t have swabbed me first time around?

Reddit user 5 answer: No idea; if they thought it was herpes then you should have been swabbed. I’m guessing the person you saw was a general practitioner and not a specialist.

It’s up to you – I’m just providing some very reliable sources which suggest it’s not as accurate as you might like, so be prepared for the possibility of a false negative or positive. In any case, everyone is in agreement that a PCR swab is much more accurate than a blood test so that should be your go-to if you still have symptoms. Hope this helps!

Reddit user 1 answer: Thanks!

Reddit user 1 answer: Also, as an aside, everything I’m reading says the blood test is incredibly accurate as long as it’s been six weeks since the infection. So, unless I recently contracted it from my partner (which is not impossible) the test should be accurate.

Reddit user 6 answer: It looks like it could be HPV warts to me but I am not skilled at this stuff as some others on here might be.

 

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

Comment. This looks like classic Molluscums

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Genital warts (HPV)

Reddit Skincare genital warts HPV penis help

 

Reddit user 1 question: Have these on my penis for a couple years now. They stay the same but one just recently appeared. GP said its not genital warts or something contagious. She thought it was some sort of fibroma or benign tumor. What do the dermatologists here think? Also it doesn’t hurt or feel itchy.

 

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

Comment. This looks like classic Genital warts

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Balanitis

Reddit Skincare balanitis penis help

 

Reddit user 1 question: Have these on my penis for a couple years now. They stay the same but one just recently appeared. GP said its not genital warts or something contagious. She thought it was some sort of fibroma or benign tumor. What do the dermatologists here think? Also it doesn’t hurt or feel itchy.

 

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

Comment. This looks like classic Balanitis

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Molluscum Contagiosum (water warts)

Reddit Skincare molluscum contagiosum penis shaft help

 

Reddit Skincare molluscum contagiosum scrotum help

 

Reddit user 1 question: Are these genital warts?

Hi all – I’ve been with a long term partner for just over a year, and we regularly have unprotected sex. She’s been tested and we had no issues until I noticed 4 of these small bumps on the shaft of my penis. I have an appointment with a doctor booked for tomorrow, but wanted to brace myself for the worst and see whether people know if these are genital warts. They’re very small (fingerprint for scale).

 

EDIT: went to the doctors, and it turns out these are, indeed, genital warts :(. Apparently they can be very small like this. I’ve been given Condyline solution for them, which you use for 3 consecutive days with 3 days off (rinse + repeat till gone). At this size, the STD doctor said they should be gone with a weeks application, and if they don’t disappear after 4 weeks, I should return to have them frozen off.

Reddit user 2 answer: Maybe nothing Maybe molluscum

Reddit user 1 answer: Thanks – I’ll update this post when I’m outta doctors. Hopefully what you think it is…

 

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

Comment. This looks most likely a Molluscum and secondary genital warts, but needs better pictures our an office visit.

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Genital warts (HPV)

Reddit Skincare genital warts HPV anus help

 

Reddit user 1 question: Are these anal warts or skin tags?

I have a feeling this is HPV, but they seem more raised and not cauliflower-y like the typical HPV warts that I’ve seen. No itching or feeling at all, just noticed them when showering. I have an appointment later this month but very concerned.

Reddit user 2 question: Warts

Reddit user 3 question: Welcome to the club, my ass hole looks like yours. No way to tell for sure, but my doc said mine are more than likely hpv warts.

 

Dermatology AI algorithm answers

 

Comment. This looks like classic Genital warts also called Condyloma

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