Not a good day.

New-to-me Dermatologist: That’s a cyst on your nose.

Me: No, there’s nothing inside it. It’s a little warty thing. A fibrous mass. The reason I’m pointing it out is because I have some basal cell coming up next to it. It was really pink, but I’ve been using Retin A on it.

Dermatologist: Retin A doesn’t work on basal cell.

Me: So what does it mean when the red goes away?

Dermo: (blank stare) Anyway, that’s a cyst. I can poke it, and it’ll pop right out.

Me: Is it a good idea to poke into an area with basal cell?

Dermo: Well, we don’t like to poke into any cancerous area, but I don’t see any sign of basal cell.

Me: (sacrificing myself on the altar of knowledge) Fine. Go ahead and poke it.

Dermo: (pokes and squeezes) Hmm. I think I’ll have to go a little deeper. (Pokes again, and squeezes my nose like it’s a dried-out lemon.) Um, I kind of bruised your nose.

Me: And did anything pop out?

Dermo: No.


Turned out that “bruise” was code for “took the skin off of.” In the end, I had him do three biopsies on my face, he chose one on my back, and I got the good news that “there is no cream that will work on basal cell, but here’s one to use until we get the biopsies.”

UPDATE: I might not like his nose-handling skills, but I like his diagnoses. Three out of four came back clear, and the 4th is a pre-cancer we’re going to treat with Aldera. I’m also treating the nose with Aldera, and it’s getting progressively scabbier, which suggests there’s something going on there. He didn’t biopsy that, and I don’t think I’ll let him until I’ve used the cream for a while and see what it looks like.


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2 Responses to “Not a good day.”

  1. theresa Says:

    My sisters and I all have basal cell skin cancer and we use a cream that does work. If the cancer comes back after disappearing then we go have it frozen off or cut out. I just emailed my sister for the name of the cream. I have run out and forgot what it’s called. I will get back to you.

    sorry the doctor bruised your nose. bummer.


  2. Esri Rose Says:

    Thanks so much, Theresa. I’ve gotten such conflicting info on this topic. If it’s BE-5, I have some, but the one time I used it, it scared me, plus the American Cancer Society swears it doesn’t work. Any help you can give is much appreciated.

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