I got some bad news…

A few years ago I had noticed a strange spot on the left side of my neck. It was flesh colored, shaped like a little volcano and when I was out in the sun the center of it would bleed. I was 29. I made an appointment to see a dermatologist in the Saratoga area and went before work one morning. The doctor took a look at it and did a biopsy and didn’t say much else about it besides the fact that I should make another appointment to come back for a full skin check. I think it was about two days and I got a call from a nurse. She started off by saying it was so good that I came in when I did. Hearing this immediately made me nervous. She went on to say that I had Basel cell carcinoma and it was great that I found it early on. This is the least dangerous of skin cancers and rarely spreads or become life threatening but it can invade deep into the skin. 

I made an appointment for a follow up to go over my options. The doctor said I had two: she could either freeze it or I could use a chemotherapy cream for a month then go for a follow up to make sure it was gone. She said she recommended the cream because there was a possibility of it either returning or not all getting treated by freezing. So I choose the cream. 

I’m not sure if after the fact I would have still gone with this option. In retrospect freezing seems like it would be quick and easy. The cream was anything but. I applied it at night. I started noticing the area being effected of course, but other areas on my neck I noticed little red marks starting to appear that looked like little chemical burns. I called the office and talked to a nurse about it. She said the cream works on affected skin and will burn any skin that has cancerous cells on it. I hadn’t covered the cream at night and it was getting on my pillow and then getting on other parts of my neck. (Face palm.) Good to know I had other cancerous areas. I started putting a Band Aid over the cream at night. Within a few days the cream started to work. It wasn’t before long it looked like a large chemical burn. Putting the cream on top of that at night now was delightful. I didn’t have to put anything on it during the day but I did cover it with a Band Aid still because of my job. At that point I was working in a clean room and I don’t think an oozing sore would have been okay to flaunt.

After a long and taxing month I went back to the doctors to have it checked. At this point my little spot had tripled in size, looked like I had leprosy and was pretty painful. She said she didn’t think it was gone yet and she wanted me to continue the cream for another two week. (Another face palm.) At that point I wasn’t even sure if I was going to do it because I was so fed up but I talked to my parents about it and being the good Irish catholic girl I am, I did the cream for another two weeks. 

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Finally my time was up! I had gone back to the doctors and she said good, everything looks good you can stop using the cream, come back in six months for another check. At this point my neck still looked like crap but I was glad to be done using that nasty cream! I wanted so bad for my skin to go back to normal. At the time I was super into the whole Korean beauty skincare regimen. I had a bottle of Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream and let me tell you that worked like a dream! I put it on morning and night and in a week I noticed a dramatic difference. I literally put it on what looked like a horrible chemical burn and in a week it looked more like a bad sunburn. In two weeks it looked even better. I kept putting on the cream until I stopped seeing changes. At that point you could still see the scar from the biopsy and the circle from where the chemical burn was but it looked whole again.

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I did end up going for my full body skin check and everything else was okay. She did make some notes on different dark freckles to watch for next time but that was it. I haven’t been back in two years. I decided to take it upon myself right after my skin check to remove those spots she had planned on watching. I did some research and watched a few YouTube videos and found apple cider vinegar as a solution to remove skin imperfections. I decided to try it. I took a cotton pad and cut it to the size of the dark spot, soaked it in the apple cider vinegar and then applied it to the skin and covered with two Bands Aids in a cross cross fashion. I did this morning and night. Two days seemed like the perfect amount of time and then I was able to go in with a pair of tweezers and pick the black spot of like a scab. I’ve read also works for skin tags! 

Now I’ve been trying red light therapy. They offer it at a tanning salon in town. I bought a month membership as I’ve read you need to go at least 10 times to really start to notice a difference. The salon recommends going 3-4 times per week. Tomorrow will be my third time going! Some of the benefits that are advertised include the repairing of sun damaged skin, reduction of pore size, it’s good for acne, it reduces fine lines and wrinkles, it lightens dark spots and under eye circles, it’s good for joint pain, reduces inflammation and the list goes on … I will do a full review on this, probably after I have gone at least the recommended number of times. Until then I will just say I love it because it is warm like a tanning bed and I am stuck in the dead of winter!

Helpful tips for readers: Wear sunscreen when out in the sun and get your skin checked! Sun cancer can happen at any age.

Thanks for reading,

Love, Dee

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