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Trying not to freak out


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#1 kewb

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:42 AM

Long story short. I found a weird patch of skin on my leg a few weeks ago. After treating it like some sort of exzema patch for a week with no changes I called the dermatologist to schedule an appointment. Of course, the earliest appointment is mid September. I really think this might be cancer. Mostly because I am waiting for the appointment and made the mistake of looking on Google.
Due to my husband's health issues I can't discuss this with him. It would cause him great stress and not be good for his health. Which in turn, would not be good for my health. I don't want to say anything to he kids because why should they worry when I don't actually know anything. Don't want Mom to worry. My sister and I don't have that kind of relationship. It could turn out to be nothing even though I feel like this is something.
I feel like I need to shut off my brain. Yoga helps but the worry is always there.
I guess I just needed to say it out loud that I might have skin cancer. Or in this case, write it since I don't feel there is anyone I can talk to about this in real life.
And maybe I am just desperate to feel some internet love. So offer me some virtual hugs so I can remain of sound mind.

#2 Pawz4me

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:55 AM

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

FWIW -- I also recently developed a patch of eczema on my lower leg. Never had any issue with that ever in my life. My PA confirmed that it is eczema and recommended OTC cortisone, which does absolutely nothing for it. So just because you've treated it and it hasn't responded doesn't mean it's not eczema, I don't think. There was a recent thread about how hard it can be to find an effective treatment.

 

Is there any way to see your primary care provider sooner than the dermatologist? Or do you think it's worth waiting?


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#3 Pegasus

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:57 AM

Not knowing for sure is the hardest part. Be sure you are on the cancellation list at the dermatologist.  You don't really need a dermatologist to do a skin biopsy so consider seeing if you can get in to see your primary care provider sooner.  You could even have the results back in time for your derm visit.


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#4 MommyLiberty5013

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:58 AM

What you can feel good about:

1. You saw a potential problem and acted quickly.
2. You've got an appointment on the books.

There is absolutely nothing you can do right now. If it's not cancer, then you've wasted time and energy worrying. If it is cancer, then you tackle that if that's the case.

I understand the feeling alone in the worry though. Many times I want to share something that's tough for me and just think it will burden my loved ones. Except maybe it won't...maybe don't tell DH, but telling one person close to you may actually help you emotionally. People have an uncanny ability to bear up with one another in pressuring times.

PS: stay off the Internet. You've been proactive already.
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#5 Selkie

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:05 AM

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Waiting and worrying is so hard. I agree that you should have your primary care physician look at it. You could also call the dermatologist's office and explain how concerned you are and ask if there is any way they could squeeze you in earlier.



#6 kewb

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:29 AM

Thank you. Somehow hearing others tell me what I have been telling myself is helping my mind shut it off.
I am on the cancellation list and I call every few days.
My primary is harder to get an appointment with then the dermatologist. Last time I was sick I totally took a few minutes of dh's appointment (a follow up that had been booked 3 months prior) because I couldn't get an appointment for a few more days.

#7 happi duck

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:40 AM

(hugs)

#8 Selkie

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:42 AM

Another thought:  I've never done this myself, but there are dermatologists who do online consultations. You send them a picture of the area of concern and they provide a diagnosis and treatment plan.

 

I wouldn't want to rely solely on an online diagnosis, but it might give you some peace of mind while you wait for your appointment. 


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#9 Seasider

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:44 AM

In the meantime, maybe a diet adjustment would help. My doc said it's very common for women to experience new food allergies midlife (even on the earlier side of midlife). Maybe an elimination diet?
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#10 fairfarmhand

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:46 AM

Call your gp and see if they can get you in this week. My family dr can do this and will refer to dermatologist if needed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by fairfarmhand, 27 August 2017 - 08:47 AM.


#11 Lady Marmalade

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 08:51 AM

In the meantime, maybe a diet adjustment would help. My doc said it's very common for women to experience new food allergies midlife (even on the earlier side of midlife). Maybe an elimination diet?

 

Yes, this!  

 

Also, if you've been working in the yard/garden (or walking in the woods) take the time to inventory the plants that you see- any new and strange weeds that you might have brushed against?

 

If you're really feeling up to it if you have a friend who sells oils, see if they have something for eczema that you can sample.  It certainly can't hurt, but maybe it IS just an eczema patch that's being stubborn. 



#12 ktgrok

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:02 AM

In good news, none of my skin cancer was like that really. It was redder, more inflamed. But, I have scaley eczema patches and the doctor says they are "wisdom spots". Google that and I bet that's it. 

 

Either way, the spots that ARE skin on me, one was there for over a decade, and it was fine. They got it off and I have a minor scar. 

 

But hugs. 


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#13 kewb

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:06 AM

Had not thought of a new midlife allergy. And I have been doing yard work. I have been experiencing all kinds of new things now that I am firmly middle aged. As my father always said "it beats the alternative".
I suppose this could be menopause related.
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#14 Barb_

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:11 AM

I developed a weird patch to the side of my nose under my eye. I was scared too because I grew up on ft lauderdale beach. The derm said skin cancer usually grows slowly and doesn't go from nothing to large and inflamed over a few days. It turned out to be dermatitis from a new skin serum and disapppeared over the next three weeks
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#15 J-rap

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:14 AM

I'm sorry...  waiting is the hardest part!  My guess is that it isn't skin cancer.  My brother has eczema, but eventually developed psoriasis.  It looks different.  It could be something like that.

 

Or...  my sister recently developed a strange rash on her leg, and it turned out to be some kind of mid-life skin reaction to changes within her body.  I don't know, she can't really explain it to me.   :)  But the doctor said that he sees this a lot in middle-aged women.

 

Then there's my 27 year old dd who developed a weird skin patch and it turned out to be shingles!


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#16 kewb

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:14 AM

If you're really feeling up to it if you have a friend who sells oils, see if they have something for eczema that you can sample. It certainly can't hurt, but maybe it IS just an eczema patch that's being stubborn.


Is there anyone left who does not have an oil pushing friend?
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#17 EKS

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:27 AM

I've had several spots of basal cell carcinoma and the good news is that none of them have looked like what you describe.  They've looked like...well...essentially nothing.  Two of them bled spontaneously, but they were both tiny, tiny things that aside from the bleeding looked like nothing.  Even the dermatologist said she'd be surprised if they came back as cancer.

 

The other good news is that even if it is skin cancer, most of the time it is *very* treatable.  


Edited by EKS, 27 August 2017 - 09:27 AM.

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#18 wintermom

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:31 AM

Have you seen your GP? I'd do that while you wait to see the specialist. 



#19 fraidycat

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:34 AM

:grouphug: :grouphug:

I hope you are able to achieve some peace-of-mind while you wait.

#20 Debbi in Texas

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 10:03 AM

For your peace of mind, you could go to a walk in clinic.


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#21 Catwoman

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 10:29 AM

The good thing here is that if it looks kind of like eczema, it doesn't sound at all like melanoma, which is the scary one. Other types of skin cancer can usually just be removed and that's the end of it. I have had the MOHS procedure and it was not a big deal at all.

BUT...

If this thing on your leg is fairly new, I really doubt it's skin cancer. It might be something that could become pre-cancerous over time and then turn into skin cancer quite some time after that, but if you get it checked out and removed, it will be gone and will never be a problem to you. Most skin cancer takes quite a while to develop. It's not like you look down one morning and have a big patch of skin cancer. I'm not saying to ignore it, but I am saying not to panic because I'm sure it's not going to turn out to be anything bad.

FWIW, I also had a weird scaly patch on my leg several years ago and like you, I panicked. It turned out to be some kind of eczema (just in that one spot on my lower leg!) and I got some prescription cream for it and it went away.

Try not to worry -- and if you want to post a picture of the spot, maybe some of us will recognize it as something we have had, and we can put your mind at ease while you wait to see the doctor. (Can you see your regular GP while you wait to see the dermatologist?)
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#22 ktgrok

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 10:31 AM

Oh, the other thing, other than wisdom spots, is actinic keratitis. Very common, CAN turn into cancer eventually, but is not cancerous. I've had TONS of AK spots frozen off. Not even surgery, just freeze it off. 


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#23 Spryte

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 10:39 AM

Try not to freak out. Hard, but try. Don't bear the stress alone, reach out to friends here and IRL. Not your DH, like you said, but talk to someone.

While you wait for the dermatologist, go in and see your GP.

My mom has had melanoma. One spot, Very advanced, but it didn't spread. Thankfully.

If you go to the GP, s/he can remove the spot and start testing. Then you can walk in to the dermatologist appt with preliminary results. That could possibly give you some peace while you wait. That is how my mom approached it, and it made things move faster. Also, the dermatologist may give you a quicker appt if you have results in hand.

FWIW, my mom's melanoma looked like a small dark mole. So it's different. She ended up at a skin cancer center, and they removed until they got it all. It was a large area, the size of a baseball, but they got it all. This was in maybe 2010? It did not spread to lymph nodes, etc. She healed beautifully and the scar is not noticeable, even.

You'll be in my thoughts!
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#24 Frances

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 10:57 AM

Try not to freak out. Hard, but try. Don't bear the stress alone, reach out to friends here and IRL. Not your DH, like you said, but talk to someone.

While you wait for the dermatologist, go in and see your GP.

My mom has had melanoma. One spot, Very advanced, but it didn't spread. Thankfully.

If you go to the GP, s/he can remove the spot and start testing. Then you can walk in to the dermatologist appt with preliminary results. That could possibly give you some peace while you wait. That is how my mom approached it, and it made things move faster. Also, the dermatologist may give you a quicker appt if you have results in hand.

FWIW, my mom's melanoma looked like a small dark mole. So it's different. She ended up at a skin cancer center, and they removed until they got it all. It was a large area, the size of a baseball, but they got it all. This was in maybe 2010? It did not spread to lymph nodes, etc. She healed beautifully and the scar is not noticeable, even.

You'll be in my thoughts!

I would have to disagree with this advice based on my FIL's melanoma. His was removed by a dermatologist and because they were so sure it was not cancerous, they shaved it rather than excising it. Later, when the tests showed melanoma, he had to have much more removed and lymph nodes tested. But because it was not done at first, he was never able to get an exact staging diagnosis. Although it likely didn't matter in the end, I personally would not trust a GP to do it, as even dermatologists can make diagnostic mistakes.

I would add that although my FIL's cancer was fatal, your patch sounds absolutely nothing like his bleeding mole. Twice I've had weird skin things I was concerned about and both times they turned out to be nothing, and I had let them go for a long time. The fact that yours is so recent makes it very unlikely to be cancer, especially the serious kind.

I'll be thinking of you while you wait for your apt. Here's hoping there is a cancellation soon.
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#25 kewb

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 11:07 AM

I want to thank all of you for helping me put this in perspective. I feel much better now and much more in control.
It is probably nothing. I am not 20 anymore and weird things are to be expected.
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#26 Spryte

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 12:15 PM

I would have to disagree with this advice based on my FIL's melanoma. His was removed by a dermatologist and because they were so sure it was not cancerous, they shaved it rather than excising it. Later, when the tests showed melanoma, he had to have much more removed and lymph nodes tested. But because it was not done at first, he was never able to get an exact staging diagnosis. Although it likely didn't matter in the end, I personally would not trust a GP to do it, as even dermatologists can make diagnostic mistakes.

I would add that although my FIL's cancer was fatal, your patch sounds absolutely nothing like his bleeding mole. Twice I've had weird skin things I was concerned about and both times they turned out to be nothing, and I had let them go for a long time. The fact that yours is so recent makes it very unlikely to be cancer, especially the serious kind.

I'll be thinking of you while you wait for your apt. Here's hoping there is a cancellation soon.


Eek. Go with what she said.
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#27 Lady Marmalade

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 01:36 PM

Is there anyone left who does not have an oil pushing friend?

 

:o

 

I did hesitate before making the suggestion.  I have several friends who, if I asked about EO's, would start to hard sell me and put me on e-mail lists and hound me about it for a while.  But I do have one friend that I could quietly ask and she would really listen and recommend accordingly, and then NOT pursue me for future sales if I didn't express an interest.

 

Only ask if you have one of THOSE kinds of EO friends.  :) 


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#28 transientChris

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 01:54 PM

My basal cell carcinoma was on my face and it didn't seem different than many other skin things I have but it was easily treated and not really dangerous either.   Both Basal cell and squamous skin cancers have extremely low mortality rates (basically people who have the things for years and let them grow huge and still do nothing).  Melanoma looks like a mole or maybe occurs in a mole that changes so no one would ever mistake it for eczema.  I would just wait for the dermatologist because a GP doesn't encounter as many skin issues and so is more likely to misdiagnose.

 


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#29 transientChris

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 01:54 PM

My basal cell carcinoma was on my face and it didn't seem different than many other skin things I have but it was easily treated and not really dangerous either.   Both Basal cell and squamous skin cancers have extremely low mortality rates (basically people who have the things for years and let them grow huge and still do nothing).  Melanoma looks like a mole or maybe occurs in a mole that changes so no one would ever mistake it for eczema.  I would just wait for the dermatologist because a GP doesn't encounter as many skin issues and so is more likely to misdiagnose.

 



#30 Patty Joanna

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 05:03 PM

I went to a dermatologist (the one from the bad bad place) for another issue, and she saw "something" on my nose.  Wanted me to come back in 2 weeks for a biopsy.  (No way.  She was awful! for the other issue--I was NEVER going back to her.) :::scowl:::  

 

I went to my Family MD, he took one look (not a biopsy!), said, "Oh yeah, that's cancer, that'll have to come off.  Here's the MOHS surgeon's name; I'll call in a referral right away.  Here's the plastic surgeon's name; I send a recommendation to him right after.  Six months from now, you won't even know you had surgery."  (Seriously, it was that fast.  It's part of why I love him.  He diagnoses and then he tells you what you're going to do about it.).

 

I had the MOHS procedure within a few days, the plastic surgery the same day, the follow-up plastic surgery 6 weeks later and it was done.  The plastic surgeon did the repairs making cuts in my smile lines and you can't even tell I have had any surgery.  

 

You can get this diagnosed and fixed in another way if you don't want to wait.  I didn't want to wait, once it was a possibility that it was cancer.  I had thought for about a year that it was eczema.  Had I gone earlier, I would not have had to have the 2 plastic surgeries, and could have saved myself about $7,000 and a certain amount of annoyance.


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#31 Quill

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 06:52 PM

(((Hugs.))) waiting is hard, especially when you have no one to talk to. Just went through waiting to see if I had uterine fibroids (or worse) and it is such a relief to know I don't.
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#32 kewb

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:19 PM

So, my appointment is in a couple of days. However, a little over a week ago whatever the weird thing is started clearing up. It is almost gone. Thinking I no longer need the appointment.

Edited by kewb, 11 September 2017 - 12:19 PM.

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#33 Barb_

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:24 PM

So, my appointment is in a couple of days. However, a little over a week ago whatever the weird thing is started clearing up. It is almost gone. Thinking I no longer need the appointment.


Good news! That's exactly what happened to me :)
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#34 Catwoman

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:31 PM

So, my appointment is in a couple of days. However, a little over a week ago whatever the weird thing is started clearing up. It is almost gone. Thinking I no longer need the appointment.


:hurray: :hurray: :hurray:

I'm so glad to hear the good news -- when I saw you'd bumped the thread back up to the top, I got worried!

You must be so relieved!

#35 Ali in OR

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:32 PM

You might keep the appointment anyway. I have a yearly with my dermatologist and if you're prone to medical anxiety as I am and as your original post indicates you might be, it's a helpful thing to just know that everything has been checked out and there's nothing suspicious. I do have eczema and have had a few suspicious moles removed, so it's not overkill to see the dermatologist every year for me.


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#36 Selkie

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:34 PM

Yay, that's great news!  :)



#37 Spryte

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:51 PM

Great news!

Keeping the appointment anyway? Never hurts to start having full body checks... :)

Edited by Spryte, 11 September 2017 - 01:02 PM.

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#38 Pen

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 01:10 PM

That's good!

 

I just saw this thread, and thought I'd add that I have had a melanoma (a mole, very distinctive looking--not like what you are describing), and while some cases are fatal, and I had a friend die of it, most nowadays are Not fatal and can be removed while only skin deep. The other forms of skin cancer (which might more likely have an appearance like what you described) tend to be even less fatality issues to my knowledge.

 

What you did of noticing a problem and making an appointment for asap is the right thing to do.

 

Your thread reminds me I need to schedule a check up with dermatologist.



#39 kewb

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 03:20 PM

I was all set to cancel the appointment and then I remembered my annual check up is due in a couple of months so I am keeping it.
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#40 Penguin

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 03:31 PM

I just about never cancel dermatologist appointments - they are too hard to get. But for me there is always SOMETHING wrong with my skin. By the time one thing clears, something else has arisen :(

Glad your concerning thing has cleared!!

Edited by Penguin, 11 September 2017 - 03:33 PM.


#41 kewb

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:22 PM

Ok. Had my appointment today. I have stumped the dermatologist. She looked at the pics of what it looked like when I first called and looked at it now. She said if it wasn't going away she would think it was some long medical name here that is indicative of a non skin cancer. But it doesn't go away. Could be exzema. Could have been ring worm. Not Lyme looking but wants me to have lyme test to be sure. Since I live with someone with chronic Lyme I am fairly confident it is not Lyme. But will have the test.
If it comes back I should go back for biopsy. Didn't want to biopsy now because it is mostly cleared up and might not get anything questionable.
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#42 WoolySocks

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:01 PM

My daughter and I have gotten ring worm, treated with lotrimin, and that would get irritated and then I'd need to follow up with  cortisone.  My daughter ended up with prescription strength corisone and I have to say having that in the house is nice.  Don't use it often but it goes a long way and acts fast.

 

Glad it doesn't sound like it's probably too serious and I hope your Lyme test comes back negative.


Edited by WoolySocks, 13 September 2017 - 04:02 PM.