Monday, December 21, 2015

Thank Goodness for the Internet!

A patient's mom calls me to discuss the warts on her son's arm. She wants a recommendation on how she can get rid of them.

I tell her that it is very unusual to get warts on your arm and that she should take her son to the doctor to have it checked out.

No, she read on the Internet that she can buy and OTC product to removes the warts. I tell her yes, we have those, but like I said, she should have whatever it is checked out by a medical doctor or dermatologist.

No, she tells me. They're warts. She read it on the Internet.

A few hours later, the boy shows up with what looks like acne on his arms. He's in wrestling, sweats a lot, and this is clearly a case of acne. It could even be a case of MRSA, although it really just looks like pimples. I tell him he really should see a doctor to make sure.

No, he tells me. They're warts. His mom read it on the Internet. He wants a wart remover. I show him what we have but I tell him they don't look like warts to me.

He pulls out his smart phone and pulls up a picture of a kid with acne on his arms. Not only does it not look anything like what my patient has, I can tell you the kid in the picture didn't have warts either. I try to tell him all this.

No, he tells me. They're warts. His mom read it on the Internet. He buys the wart remover and leaves.

A few days later he comes in with a prescription for Bactrim. I guess he didn't have success with the wart remover, saw a doctor, and the doc decided to treat for MRSA. But don't take my word for it. After all, you can look it up on the Internet.


Anonymous said...

It could be mollescum. I'm not sure how it's spelled, but it looks like tiny little dry whitehead pimples. It is a common viral skin disease in wrestlers, for which the only cure is time.

Anonymous said...

I would have immediately thought molluscum contagiosum.

And also said "you need to take him to a doctor or dermatologist".

Kudos Crazy. But then again, what do we know?!?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Google has better lawyers than I do. If that customer wanted to self-medicate himself with peanut butter, I would have simply pointed him to the right aisle.

Anonymous said...

Ummm, a dermatolgist IS a medical doctor...