skin cancer, keratoses and sun damage

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My husband made me go see a dermatologist who is telling me I have pre cancer spots-keratoses on my face and I have to use this awful carac chemotherapy cream to make them go away. it will make my face get red and itchy and blotchy for 2 weeks. then sunscreen forever. what a drag. I LOVE the sun!!! this sucks but I'm glad I don't have melanoma...could be worse...anyone have experience with this stuff? i am planning to start using it on sept 28--there is a party that weekend but it shouldnt make me ugly for another week or so. many horrendous experiences on the skin cancer sites. another friend just had half her nose and cheek removed bc of skin ca so this is serious s--t....
Susan suburban NY
3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
CG since 11/11/04
http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
PW: banjo
HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
Not come across such a cream before - a couple of people I work with suffer these and get them somehow frozen off. They have marks for a little while but they fade quickly, would that not be an option for you?
3b in South Australia.
my Dr said that she can only freeze off what she can see. the cream will seek out and find the lesions that are invisible now...
Susan suburban NY
3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
CG since 11/11/04
http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
PW: banjo
HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
Accumulated sun damage is no joke, especially among lighter-skinned folks with lighter-colored eyes and hair, although anyone can have this, but the former are far more prone. Sun damage exists at deeper levels of the skin too. You're fortunate to get on this now before it does become much more serious. One way to be scared straight is to see a Visia printout of one's skin which shows what's going on, and will be going on later in life if one doesn't take steps soon to prevent MORE damage. That chemotherapy cream DOES sound heavy-duty - I'm sure your dermatologist had his/her reasons for prescribing. Still, the wearing of a decent facial sunblock IS de rigeur along with a broad-brimmed hat - especially with all the sun you get from hiking. If you don't want to wear sunblock all over, then covering up with tightly-woven fabric is the best thing. Something you can do from the inside although this takes time to take effect and doesn't necessarily replace other sun-protective measures is taking astaxanthin, a very powerful anti-oxidant that has multiple benefits, including that of making skin much more resistant to sun burning and resulting damage, an internal sunscreen if you will. However, it does take several weeks for the astaxanthin to build up in the body to do this, and do do the other stuff that has been suggested for you.
On the topic of facial sunblocks, although they are universally-recommended by dermatologists, in actuality it is not all that easy to find one that one likes. Chemical sunblocks irritate many sensitive skins(I'm one of these), and often purely physical sunblocks are heavy, greasy, and leave a white cast, which depending on one's skin color can leave on looking like Caspar-the-Friendly-Ghost. Often, one has to spend some money to get a decent one, I've found. My HG one right now, although pricey but lasts a long time since I only use it on face and neck is CosMedix Reflect SPF 30 which I wear daily no matter what the weather. It's a physical block, titanium dioxide with anti-oxidants in it, in spray form. At first when I used this I wonder how this could be protective since it felt so light and in spray form besides. But I've been out whole afternoons in reasonably strong sun and gotten no color. Plus it feels very pleasant and hydrating going on the face and doesn't have any toxic stuff in it - a very nice combo of natural and scientific formulation.
Anyhow, best of luck with addressing the sun damage. Let us know how the strong cream treatment is going. Likely while your skin is stressed from this, you will have to use very simple, bland products that are soothing and healing - check with your dermatologist about this, but on the natural side, unrefined shea butter is wonderful.
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Sorry you have to deal with this, banjo. I know you are a sun worshiper like me, which makes it extra hard to deal with.
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Feb 2014**
https://www.facebook.com/lifetheuniverseandtodd
Yowza - sending lots of healing good vibes, banjo.


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Sulfate/non-water-soluble silicone free since 8/16/10
Northern VA
Med-coarse, normal porosity, low elasticity
Dye-free since 11/2010

I'm south of the south so just about everybody down here gets skin cancers eventually; they are getting very good at treating them - do what your doctor says, catch it early and treat as much as you can, it will keep you safer longer.

And yeah, get a good hat
2c / C / iii (FIA)
Med-Coarse, LowPorosity, NormalElast (LCLF)

Shoulder-Length now.

Wash: DevaCare Low Poo
Detangle & Rinseout: Walgreens or Sally's Conditioning Balm (always)
Leave-in: DevaCare OneC (budget choice is GFTN)
Style: ReCoil & DevaCare Arc Angel (budget choices are HESMU or Got2BSpikedUp)

Henna!
Banjo, sorry you're dealing with this. About a year ago this same thing happened to me. Now I will be seeing the dermatologist every six months for the rest of my life. But remember, sunscreen was just invented in the 80's. I know I've had some really bad sunburns in all that time, so I figured it was bound to happen. Hang in there. Keep your appointments, as new spots will keep popping up. And be glad it was caught early.
Cowash: Suave Aloe and Water Lily
Conditioner and Leave-in: GFTN
LA Looks Sport Gel
Coconut oil Or Olive oil at night
thanks all of you for your support. so i started the carac cream on 9/29 so this is about day 5-6. the first 3 days it was no problem, now i am starting to look blotchy. the cream is very drying and i really hate it. my skin feels dry and hot. i am using my fave cream, burts bees carrot night cream after i wake up in the AM after the cream soaks in all night. i also hate having to wear a hat and sunblock. however, a friend just lost half her face and another friend had breast CA so i am very grateful that this is all i have right now. i am taking pictures but cannot face them until i am done with this and back to normal. i am used to being chunky and having an imperfect body but i am NOT used to having a damaged looking face. luckily my husband and my dogs think i am gorgeous
Susan suburban NY
3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
CG since 11/11/04
http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
PW: banjo
HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
the hot and dry sound really tough -- i'm guessing it causes sleep loss. good that you can put your own soothing creme on it in the a.m.
you are right, as bad as this is.... my cousin had a basal spot removed from her face by a local dr a few years back. apparently he did not get clean borders and she went to sloan where they had to remove 1/4 of her face skin -- she had a combo of plastic surgery and some of her own skin replacing it -- was off from work for 6 months as she had many dr appts. now she is totally fine, does wear sunblock and sunhat when out in the sun. however, you can tell there is something a little 'off' with her face as the sides don't match up 100%. so, while it was not life threatening, it was major.
i think with anything like this you know the transition period is not going to be easy so you kind of detach and just get through it, knowing the time will pass and you will have accomplished something major. on the plus side and not to make light of it at all, but sometimes you need to find the silver lining, i wonder if this will be like those skin abrasions that make you look soooo much younger!
pamper yourself while you go through this and keep us posted.
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3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity
washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
leave in:cj conditioners and treatments as leave in
styling: cj pattern pusha, cj honey butta leave in, cj cccc, cj ciab, lalsg. cj aloe fix gel is my high dews/summer HG!!
sealants - spiral solutions emollience butter, jane carter nourish & shine
this sounds similiar to what we do where i work for pre cancer cells,ak's bcc,scc,. they are called pulse peels. the este's put a chemo creme(efudex) on with a glycolic acid. 10 x 1 day a week for 10 weeks. we get probably 5 to 10 a day. but it works.it brings out the pre cancer cells and peels them away.
at first many clients get very dry skin, some itch, redness. but that usually goes away and can be controlled with a heavy cream. but as i said , it is worth it. it is so much better than the alternative. bearwith it
p. s we also do a blue light treatment that is stronger, a cream put on for an hour, then under a light. now that is some major peeling, redness,irritation. but the upside to that treatment is it is only 1 to 2 times total.
thanks! yes carac is the same as efudex. i use it overnight for 2 weeks every day, i am in mid cycle now and it is UGLY. also my eyes water and are a bit irritated. only 1 week left if i live thru it...


this sounds similiar to what we do where i work for pre cancer cells,ak's bcc,scc,. they are called pulse peels. the este's put a chemo creme(efudex) on with a glycolic acid. 10 x 1 day a week for 10 weeks. we get probably 5 to 10 a day. but it works.it brings out the pre cancer cells and peels them away.
at first many clients get very dry skin, some itch, redness. but that usually goes away and can be controlled with a heavy cream. but as i said , it is worth it. it is so much better than the alternative. bearwith it
p. s we also do a blue light treatment that is stronger, a cream put on for an hour, then under a light. now that is some major peeling, redness,irritation. but the upside to that treatment is it is only 1 to 2 times total.
Originally Posted by want2bcurly
Susan suburban NY
3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
CG since 11/11/04
http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
PW: banjo
HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
Hi banjocurl - so glad to know you're hanging in there with that tough skin treatment! It must be just a few more days now before this cycle is over. Will you have to do this more than once, or is one such treatment enough? I would think that if you have to do this again the dermatologist would have you doing very soothing, very rich therapeutic creams to restore your skin's barrier that has been under such assault. Over the counter, CeraVe Cream is very good, but the same pharmaceutical company makes the prescription version of a barrier repair product which is what you might need after this. Again, best of luck - I'm sure by the time your skin settles down and heals, you'll look great! So sorry to hear about your friends' troubles - there's nothing like that to make one thankful for only having one's own situation.
thanks so much --well i am using this diabeticae skin balm which is organic and feels really good.
Diabeticae, Organic Diabetic Skin Care - By Brigit True Organics
only 4 more nights w the cream-im on day 10. my dr thinks just one tx will be ok but we will see when i go thurs morning. i feel like a teenager with awful zits plus having to wear a sunvisor and sunscreen when i hike which i will continue of course... here is a pic....i keep saying temporary....
Attached Thumbnails
skin cancer, keratoses and sun damage-100911hairfacesmall.jpg  
Susan suburban NY
3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
CG since 11/11/04
http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
PW: banjo
HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
Nobody will notice those 'zits' with that gorgeous hair filling their eyeballs! : )
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Feb 2014**
https://www.facebook.com/lifetheuniverseandtodd
hey jeep that is so sweet i just had an ANA cut at devachan...she's amazing. you look fabulous-- love your avatar!!
@cara i will check out cerave--here are the ingredients--is it cool with the petrolatum and dimethicone on the face?? i know i avoid it on the hair but not sure re face...

Water (Purified), Glycerin, Ceteareth 20, Capric/Caprylic Stearic Triglyceride, Behentrimonium Methylsulfate/Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 11, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Petrolatum, Dimethicone, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Phytosphingosine, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum
Susan suburban NY
3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
CG since 11/11/04
http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
PW: banjo
HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
Thanks banjo! We are just 2 hot old ladies! : )
In Western PA
Found NC in 2004. CG since 2-05, going grey since 9-05. 3B with some 3A.
Hair texture-medium/fine, porosity-normal except for the ends which are porous, elasticity-normal.
Suave & VO5 cond, LA Looks Sport Gel, oils, honey, vinegar.
http://public.fotki.com/jeepcurlygurl/ password jeepy **updated Feb 2014**
https://www.facebook.com/lifetheuniverseandtodd
Hi banjocurl!
Actually, petrolatum is one of the gentlest ingredients on the face, and as far as dimethicone goes, it's YMMV for some people. Some people swear any 'cones clog their skin, others are fine with them.
Again hang in there - you're almost done unless that doc decides you need to do this again. At least this awful period is temporary and your skin will heal - hope this helps. Sounds like you're doing the right thing with a soothing cream too - I'm sure it must feel like a relief under such circumstances from the treatment cream.
thanks so much you guys. i will try to get some of the cerave at cvs i think they have it there. i dread putting the cream on at night so i've been staying up too late...well at least my new haircut made me happy. actually my life is good and i don't think about my face too much while i am hiking since i am wearing the visor and sunglasses, not so obvious....
this might be the slowest 2 weeks ever...
Susan suburban NY
3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
CG since 11/11/04
http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
PW: banjo
HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
banjo - Your new hair cut is gorgeous! And your skin will look so much better and be so much healthier very soon. Good luck getting through this treatment phase....
2Poodles Southeast PA
fine, med porosity, normal elasticity
Currently using the following 2 - 3 x/week:
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day suphate-free Poo, cone-free CO and styling treatment, plus KCCC

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