“Scratching my nose almost blinded me” – Mum ravaged by skin infection battles massive blister on face
A mum of two almost lost her sight after scratching her nose caused a skin infection that ravaged her face.
Anita Clark, 50, was terrified when her face doubled in size and a huge blister developed across both cheeks.
The community nurse from Clayton, Manchester, had no idea what was wrong with her face until doctors noticed a small scratch inside her one nostril.
She had developed cellulitis – a life threatening skin infection that can cause sepsis or kidney damage if not treated quickly.
It was July last year that Anita fell ill while gardening, after deciding to see if she felt better in the morning, she went to sleep thinking she would just be coming down with a cold.
However, the next day, she was in the back of an ambulance on her way to hospital, and her face started gradually swelling the next day.
It took five weeks for her face to go back to normal with doctors worried it had damaged her eyes.
Thankfully she has since made a full recovery but is sharing her story to raise awareness.
Anita, said: “I was terrified, at times I thought that my face would never go back to normal.
“I thought I’d end up with skin of an alligator, because the cellulitis made my cheeks really crusty.
“I was in hospital for nine days taking regular antibiotics to try and get the fluid out of my face.
“But the most nerve-racking thing was the idea that if the fluid went to my eyes, I would have gone blind.
“Even after I was discharged from the hospital on July 16, I still had to go back for months to get my eyes checked, just in case.”
On July 6, Anita had the day off work and decided to do a bit of gardening.
However, when she went to bed that evening she started to feel increasingly more and more run down.
Anita added: “After I’d done the gardening, I strangely started to feel run down and achy, but I thought that was from the gardening.
“So I decided to have an early night to make sure that I felt better for work in the morning.
“When I woke up the next morning I started to fell hot and had a headache, but I went into work anyway because I did feel well enough to get up and do stuff.
“When I went into work my colleague looked at me and said ‘Anita, your nose looks like Rudolph!’
“When I looked in the mirror I realised it was really red at the tip, and it felt a bit hot but I didn’t think anything of it.
“So I continued my working day until I started to feel hot and clammy, and not really very well at all.
“I told my boss and she sent me home right away and told me to just go straight to bed, so I did.
“But when I woke up when my husband, Dave, got in from work, I was flooding with sweat, really clammy and couldn’t breathe properly.
“I phoned 111 and told them my symptoms and they told me to get an ambulance, and they came almost immediately.
“As soon as I was admitted to Manchester Royal Infirmary hospital, I was given dozens of antibiotics to make me feel better.
“However it wasn’t until the next morning that my face started heavily swelling, and they diagnosed me with cellulitis.
“They told me that my cellulitis may have been caused by make-up brushes, but I very highly doubt that as I only ever use a blusher brush on my cheeks sometimes.
“It was then that they noticed a tiny scratch on the inside of my nostril.
“They think that either bacteria from when I was doing the garden had got in to the cut, or just sweat bacteria, had caused cellulitis in my face.”
The next morning, Anita woke up, unable to see because her face had swollen so much that her eyes were forced closed.
Anita said: “Because my skin was so full of fluid it started oozing out of my skin.
“It gradually started to crust over and smell appallingly, but luckily due to the Linezolid I was on, that didn’t last for too long.
“I had X-rays and eye scans to make sure that the cellulitis wasn’t going to be fatal, or cause me to go blind or anything.
“Fortunately it didn’t reach my eyes enough to make me go blind, so I thank my blessings for that.
“Now, I have to make sure that I’m really careful in the sun and wear factor 50 on my face.”
Do you, or someone you know, have a similar story to tell? Get in touch today to earn £££ and raise awareness.