An Australian politician is being treated by a plastic surgeon after two huge holes suddenly appeared in his face.

Newly elected Northern Territory representative Ross Bohlin will be scarred for life after contracting folliculitis, an infection of his hair follicles — but the former police officer is still surprisingly cheerful, according to a report in the Northern Territory News.

Bohlin, who represents Drysdale in the Legislative Assembly, said the disease was probably caused by something as simple as friction from his shirt collar.

He was visiting his 68-year-old mother in a hospital in Adelaide, South Australia when his face began swelling alarmingly.

Within two days, his face had an inch of swelling.

"I couldn't eat or drink properly," he said. "It was frightening."

Doctors at the Flinders Medical Center found two infected follicles — one on his jawbone and the other near his mouth.

"I was pulling out great strands of puss with tweezers from big cavities," he said. "Believe me, it wasn't nice."

When antibiotics failed to work, Bohlin was admitted to Port Augusta Hospital.

The holes were cleaned up under general anesthetic.

Bohlin was discharged on Christmas Eve but still needs the cavities packed with gauze every day.

"At first, (an 8-inch) strip of gauze was needed," he said. "But the healing has started — I'm down to (6 inches)."

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