November 06, 2017 2 min read


The patient, a male, presented with a small, red bump on his forehead that looked like a pimple. He had already seen 2 other doctors who repeatedly treated the bump with cortisone shots, but the bump kept returning. The patient became increasingly concerned, and came to see me when his “super pimple” kept getting bigger and firmer to the touch.

Based on his treatment history, I found it odd that a pimple would keep returning in the exact same spot even after multiple cortisone shots. I decided to aspirate the bump using a needle, and to my surprise, it touched on something solid. Upon closer examination, I noticed a tiny shard of glass. Because the glass was clear, it was extremely difficult to see and probably why it was not seen by his other doctors. I then asked the patient if he had ever been exposed to shattered glass. The patient, a Hollywood actor, thought for a moment and then told me that while shooting a scene a few months prior, he performed a stunt where his head was pushed through a glass window.

The firm mass on his face immediately made sense. When the body cannot reject a foreign object, it creates a “shell” around the object to keep it contained. In this case, the "super pimple" he could not get rid of. When his other doctors injected cortisone, it immediately shrank the inflammation, causing the bump to become smaller. However, the body snaps back into protective-mode and creates more and more scar tissue around the glass to keep it contained. This was the reason the bump would not go away, and only kept getting larger and firmer.

Another reminder that our bodies are constantly working to keep us healthy.

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