Meet the plug, my sworn enemy:


Welcome to my website. I should warn you that some of the images you’ll see here are not for the faint-hearted. Click on any of them to open a full-size version in a new window.

My name is David Bourke.

I’m almost 60 and I live in Dublin, Ireland. I’ve been a professional writer and composer all my life. Since June, 2009 I’ve been plagued with a life-destroying problem.

My hope is that someone somewhere in this wide world will be able to help or offer some knowledge, advice, or assistance.

That’s my problem above, magnified 200 times. It’s called a plug.

Doesn’t look very threatening, does it? Yet it can make your life hell on earth. It has mine. It comes in a number of different varieties of size, shape, and colour (mustard, orange, brown, and even transparent), but mostly it’s pale green and either globular, cylindrical, or bag-shaped. It’s sticky and very difficult to get off your fingers without damaging. Here’s some different types:

Some have fine translucent filaments growing from them.

Some come with filament wrapping.

Others come in a flattened form which looks like a complex of tubes and bags.

Some grow in hair follicles (what’s that emerging?).

So where do they come from?

They come from me.

Above is a photomicrograph of my cheek. And the only places on my body they haven’t populated are the palms of my hands (yes, I’ve even dug them out of the soles of my feet) and my penis. They’re sebaceous plugs.

If you look closely at the large plug at the top of the picture directly above, you can clearly see the curved shape of a developing insect larva.

Yet two top Irish dermatologists and a psychologist have diagnosed me with delusional parasitosis. None of them saw all the images on this website because, for reasons I’ll go into later, most dermatologists and psychologists aren’t very keen on taking any account of patient-collected evidence.

And that, my friends, is the problem.
Read on to continue the story...