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Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Sebhorreic Keratosis

Compared with other bloggers recently, I feel like Brody in Jaws, when the other two guys are showing off their hideous scars and he secretly looks down at his own, perhaps an appendectomy, and wisely decides it’s not impressive or gruesome enough to reveal. Except I’m not that wise.

Sebhorreic Keratosis: otherwise ‘thing-gy’, with a hard ‘g’.

I had this thing-gy on my face. I didn’t think it was too bad until I saw pictures of a concert I was in and realised how prominent it looked, even though I was hiding in my customary place at the back of the stage. Worse, I thought it red until told it was brown. They look the same to me.

I think my family had become used to it and didn’t notice any more. I zoomed into past photographs to see how long it had been there. It appeared as a small mark around 2005, and by 2018 had grown to a centimeter across. It almost doubled in size over a year.

I told the doctor I’d come about this thing-gy. After prodding, wiggling and stretching it, he pronounced it sebhorreic keratosis, not easy to pronounce at all. I knew the first word from shampoo bottles. Head & Shoulders bottles used to mention sebhorreic dermatitis but they mention only nicer things now. The worst it gets is “visible flakes”. Anyway, the doctor said it was harmless but did I want it removed? It was only on the surface and nowhere near any facial nerves. A cosmetic procedure.

Around six months later I attended his surgery at the local G.P. practice. He injected some anaesthetic, commented how surprisingly hard it was, scraped away the tissue with a scalpel, and corterised it. Apart from a tugging sensation, scraping sounds and a burning smell, it was not unpleasant.

He left me to be tidied up by the nurse who had helped. She assured me that actually, if anything, despite a round charcoal mark, it looked much better now than before because it was no longer raised. Aren’t nurses wonderful! She was wearing one of those NHS polythene aprons too, tied tight, shiny and shapely.

Within a few days the beard hairs were growing through and within a few weeks it had disappeared completely. 

Unfortunately, six months ago it started coming back. There were two small brown raised spots at the upper and lower edges of where it had been. There was no chance of treatment during covid overload, but my cousin, who also suffers them and is a nurse, said she just puts wart remover on hers. I said the local pharmacy wouldn’t let me have any. “That’s because you were silly enough to tell them what you wanted it for,” she said. 

She pointed me to Boots where you simply pick it off the shelves. Cousin said get the strongest. I got the weakest: ‘Wartie’. The instructions emphasise it is only for warts and on no account should it be used on the face. I dabbed it on my face, on the thing-gy, daily for three weeks then leave for a week. After three months it has nearly gone.

Now, should I tell you about the epididymal cyst?

28 comments:

  1. I had something similar on the side of my nose. The nurse at the surgery gave me some cream to put on am and for a month and said it would blister scale over and disapaer- it did just that - miraculous

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    1. I remember you writing about it and got the impression that what you had was much nastier - one of the things alluded to in the first sentence. Hope yours has gone completely.

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    2. Weaver, would that be Aldara cream? It has worked for me in one area, but not another.

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  2. I had a cluster of warts on my leg when I was a child and had them burnt out at the local hospital. I can still smell the burnt flesh. I've had a wart under an eye and that was taken care of by another local hospital. Years later I got another wart which was elongating on the same eye and had that removed by another local hospital. Unfortuately another one started growing in the same place and the consultant said he would have to remove the roots, which he did and I never want to go through that again as the pain from the injection was horrendous. It seems I am blighted by warts as well as other things.

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    1. I've had several things removed over the years, on forehead, ear lobe and what is mentioned at the end. I agree, some people are afflicted with these things. I do hope yours is clear now. The skin around the eye is very delicate and sensitive.

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    1. Mmmm! Yours was another I had in mind at the beginning.

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  4. I have a reason for telling you this: needles. I've had three operations on my nose. When a friend heard that I had a malignant cancerous growth on my nose she said: oh that's okay. They can remove it easily. The op doesn't hurt but the injection is the worst thing that can happen to you. Fast forward to the table. Wonderful surgeon (Consultant ENT Surgeon in late 30s) said that I didn't have to be concerned and that it would all be over quickly. As she said that she was feeling my nose time and again. I told her that it was the injection I was not looking forward to. "Oh" said "so you would be surprised if I told you that I'd just given you 7 injections". All I had felt was what I though was her 'fiddling about". I wasn't vaguely concerned for the next couple of procedures.

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    1. It's incredible how doctors can sort us out and patch us up over and over again. Some of these things that seem so minor would have been fatal not all that long ago. As regards the injections, maybe Joan, above, might find it's no longer so bad.

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  5. Save the cyst tale for next month. Better to string out miseries. I am not sure about the first word but I suffer from keratosis. The skin keeps repairing itself and all is well for a couple of weeks and then the cycle begins again, redness, flaking skin, repair. It is only really noticeable to me, although there if you look for it.

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    1. That sounds a real nuisance, and presumably itchy or otherwise irritating at times. Isn't there a cream to keep it better under control, such as cortisone?

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    2. Andrew; check with your doctor and see if it is rosacea, there is a cream available but only by prescription and about $45. or ask your chemist for something similar to the rosacea cream.

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  6. There was a doctor practice that removed the warts that my daughters grew. When she was a teenager my oldest daughter decided to go back alone. A young mother with a three or four year old came in, about the moment my daughter got a shot in her foot or had the ice spray. I don't remember which. My daughter screamed the original blood curdling scream and the young child began crying. I tapped him on the shoulder and said I wanted him to watch the door and see what a tall, old girl was making that noise. He watched for her and when she came through shouted "It was her, wasn't it! It was her!" I sure hope his procedure didn't involve pain, because I had him primed to be very brave, unlike my teen.

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    1. That's a great story. I wonder what your daughter thought, though.

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  7. Apparently pink ones on other parts of the body are called Lichenoid Keratosis. I wonder if I dare try wart remover on mine? it is near my knee and was quite itchy a while ago so I scratched until it bled then put a bandaid over it. It still looks raw, so I'll wait a while before trying anything. Maybe I'll have my doctor check it.

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    1. It's only because I knew for cdrtain what mine was that I tried it. During the coronavirus backlog, it would have got bigger and needed the scalpel treatment again, so I'm sure I've done the right thing, especially as it's similar to one of the official treatments.

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  8. Well... I would wait till the doctor has time again for you, I would NOT put anything except Sun-protection on it. If it doesn't develop racingly quick, Tasker, I would wait.

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    1. As responded just above, I didn;t want it to get bigger. Doctors have no time for anything like this at the moment.

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  9. I hope this recurring stops and no I don't want to know about the cyst ;) I had a small mole on my face, then one day a facial clean small packet fell out of a magazine. So I used it on my face and the mole promptly dropped off. So I stick to Nivea cream now...

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    1. If it returns Ill do the same again. Maybe I should try face cleaner, or magic Nivea. Actually, I don't think I want to talk about the other thing, so you're safe.

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  10. Looking forward to a post about your epididymal cyst. That sounds like another fun read. Seriously though, it's good to share such information and reflections as this could help somebody out there who is in denial about their conditions. Men especially are notorious for refusing to seek help.

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    1. As said to Thelma, I don't think I will post about that. It was a bit more involved than scraping or wart remover.

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  11. Oh I've got lots of those! I've also got a wart on my leg I am thinking of self-treating. It's safe, is it?

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    1. If 100% sure it's sebhorreic keratosis, but to be sure it would be best to check with doctor who might give you something to do it with.
      I had a wart on my leg which I treated with on of those freeze it kits. It only needed one blast, although it then took about 3 weeks to disappear and I was beginning to think I might need to do it again, but I didn't.

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  12. I have a brownish spot on my cheekbone that I need to get looked at. I bet it's the same thing. It's not black or mole-like (so not scary) but probably needs attention. So you're motivating me to contact my GP. :)

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    1. From what you say it sounds as if it could be the same thing. The trouble is they'll probably now say that treatment is cosmetic, which I am now told the NHS won't do. If the doc confirms that it is SK he might prescribe some liquid to apply as Weaver describes above.

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