Maury's battle with the Sun
Occasionally I have to see a dermatologist to have pre-cancerous skin lesions removed from my face, ears and scalp The treatment is a result of spending time in the sun without some sort of protection in the form of a hat or sun screen. Usually the number of places that need to be treated are few enough that a dermatologist can treat them individually during an office visit The process involves spaying each lesion with liquid nitrogen which freezes and kills the lesion. This works when there are only a few places to be treated.
I postponed a visit to see the dermatologist because I had a busy schedule at the end of 2019. I had planned to make an appointment to see a doctor around the first of the year in 2020. However, by the time I was ready to see the doctor the corona virus pandemic hit. I, like other people, didn't want to get near a medical facility while I felt healthy. So, I postponed seeing a doctor.
Treatment delayed due to pandemic
Then, at the beginning of March, 2020, a patch of red skin, about 1-centimeter across, showed up on my right cheek. I figured it was a temporary irritation that would go away in a few days. After a couple of weeks the red patch of skin was still there and had not reduced in size or changed color. With the pandemic raging around the world and the United States, I stayed at home and kept busy. Then a few months had passed when I realized that the red patch of skin was still there, the same size and color. I decided that I really needed to see a dermatologist so I made an appointment for an office visit.
It was good that I saw a doctor because he told me I had too many pre-cancerous lesions to treat one at a time with liquid nitrogen. The good doctor prescribed the same form of treatment I had to go through 30 years before. The process involved using a special cream to apply to my face and scalp twice a day for 4 weeks. It is a form of chemo treatment as described in the instructions that came with the tube of cream.
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In the beginning it looks as if nothing is happening after the first few applications of the cream are completed. It takes a few days before changes can be seen that shows the lesions are being affected while the normal skin keeps looking natural. However, when the cream has been applied for several days my face looked like a war zone or a bombing range. I looked like a zombie without using any makeup.
After the lesions have been damaged by the treatment, thin scabs form over each pre-cancerous patch of skin indicating that the lesion is dead. At this time new skin grows beneath the scab until the scab finally falls off leaving new, healthy skin. The new tissue is still a pinker color than normal skin, but with time, the new skin turns to its regular flesh color.
Didn't want to scare people
While my face was covered with scabs I refrained from going into any store or to any place with a lot of people. I could minimize the look of my face by wearing a baseball cap, a covid mask and sunglasses. Even with the greatly reduced number of scabs that could be seen, the mask still didn't cover every part of my cheeks. I was very fortunate that family and friends were doing much of the shopping for Lynn and me
The photo on the right of this page shows how my skin looked after all of the scabs had gone away. Even though the pre-cancerous skin was gone, it can be seen that my face has a way to go until my skin has returned to its normal color. This view is the "After" view. During the process, my face got bad enough that it would have been a perfect look to scare trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
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