Painful skin treatment

11 04 2012

Before I went to the US in March, I had my first appointment with a dermatologist. I’ve had small skin tags and one large one in various parts of my body for years that needed checking, plus some flat things on my forehead and cleavage — and the biggie… a cyst I’ve had for 20+ years in my neck, which has got bigger in the past few months.

I thought he’d take a look, deal with the minor stuff (or tell me to ignore it), and then get me back for another appointment for the cyst and the largish skin tag. But no. He’s one of those ‘see it, get rid of it before you have time to think’ types of specialists (which in hindsight I was grateful for). He incised the cyst there and then (local anaesthetic), and surgically removed the skin tag (again with a local). Then he dealt with all the other littler things with liquid nitrogen (dry ice in a pressurised fire extinguisher looking thing). That was a really PAINFUL experience, especially as nearly all the offending bits were in very delicate areas of my body, like the underarm area!

Liquid nitrogen hurts like buggery. Don’t let anyone fool you! And then the pain continues for some time (at least 30+ minutes) afterwards. I was shaking a bit when we got back to the car — I think my body was in shock.

The next morning — and for a week or two later — all the places where he zapped looked like little red spots with a blistery sort of centre. Not pretty… my husband has his little skin cancers done each year by this guy and I’ve never appreciated how much it hurt when he’d come out and say he was ‘a bit sore’. A bit sore???? Jeez Louise! My husband says the red spots/blistering will disappear in a few days (thank goodness!… but it was actually more like a week or two for the blistering to go and a couple of months for the bits to drop off) and while those areas were a little tender to touch the next morning, they weren’t screaming in pain like they were on the day I had the treatment.

I’m such a wuss. It was only liquid nitrogen…

 


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