White Spots in Throat / Strep Throat / Tonsil Stones
December 22 2009 - Day 3
On Day 3 I woke up with my throat feeling much better already. I went down to have Bob take a few photos. It looks like the big spot is still there, and now some of the smaller spots are growing back in.
I have hunted everywhere on the web to figure out what these white spots ARE. I mean I know I have tonsillitis, the doctor confirmed that, but I'm curious from a biology point of view. The best I can figure from my reading is that the skin itself is infected with the virus / bacteria (it can be either in tonsillitis) and the body creates pus to try to combat / encapsulate the invaders. That pus is white and sits on the surface of the skin. So that is what these spots are. The pus is very thick so that's why it clings to the skin.
The reason the white pus spots come back in a given area is that is where the invaders happen to be, in the skin, that the body is attacking. Apparently pus is a mixture of the dead skin cells, dead white blood cells (the cells that fight off attackers) and dead bacteria. It seems that most of the time when you see pus, it's an indication of a bacterial attack, not a viral attack.
It also seems if I had a virus that I'd be coughing and sneezing and so on. If I had a bacteria, I wouldn't have these secondary symptoms. Since I don't have any other symptoms other than the sore throat with these pus blobs, it appears my tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection. We are just still waiting to confirm if it's a strep bacteria or another bacteria.
After we took these photos, we decided to try the Q-tip. We first sprayed my throat with one of those numbing sprays so I wouldn't gag much. Then we dipped the Q-tip into heavy duty mouthwash to sterilize it. Then he gently swabbed at the white spot. Amazingly, it came off! Not even any "rubbing" - just touch it and it fell off. He saw the spot on my tongue, then apparently I swallowed it.
Voila! No more spot!
So again to summarize, the tonsil (the lumpy thing in between the two vertical flaps of skin) is infected with some sort of an invader - probably a bacteria. My body is attempting to neutralize the invader by assaulting it with white blood cells. The aftermath of that battle is a white pus on the surface that holds all the debris from the battle. So that pus is a sign that my body is doing its job in attacking the invading critters.
Strep Throat / Tonsillitis Photos Main Page
Lisa's Biology Pages