A mother has been left with a huge hole in her chin after she dismissed a sign of deadly skin cancer for a blackhead.
35-Year-Old. Kari Cummins, saw a dermatologist after years of over exposing her skin to sunlight and tanning beds.
Despite her noticing a peculiar mark on her chin, Cummins, from California, dismissed the growth as a spot.
Yet, numerous tests revealed that she had squamous cell carcinoma; a type of skin cancer that can spread to the organs if untreated.
The growths were removed, however, Cummins was ultimately left with a hole the size of a two-pence piece in her chin, which required 35 stitches.
Cummins, who is a stay-at-home mother, said: ‘I have always had clear skin so I did think that the spot was slightly unusual.
‘I assumed it was a blackhead or a weird type of adult acne, as I hadn’t seen anything like that before.
‘I have fair skin, and I did use tanning beds in my twenties and early thirties to get a base tan before going on holiday.
‘I wasn’t a frequent user, and only used them occasionally, but I’ve learnt that it doesn’t take much for the UV rays to accelerate the growth of the carcinoma, especially if you have fair skin.
She said: ‘I also grew up by a lake and I spent a lot of time in the sun and I don’t think that helped either. If I hadn’t of had it removed when I did then the chances are it would have grown larger and deeper into the tissue and could have spread. It took 35 stitches to close up the hole and it took weeks to heal, I have now been left with a scar that is very noticeable on my face.At first I felt very self-conscious, but now I find it empowering as I can use my experiences to share my story in the hope of urging others that it is so important to look after your skin.’
Cummins paid a visit to the dermatologist after urging her own mother to see a specialist as she too had some worrying marks on her skin.
She said: ‘I had a few raised bumps and scabs on my face and so biopsies were taken and that’s when I found out that they were potentially cancerous.
‘Thankfully they were non-melanoma but I still had to get them surgically removed.
‘The lump on my chin was like an underground blackhead and when that was removed I couldn’t believe what I had been left with.
‘The one on my forehead didn’t affect me, the scars healed really fast, however, the one on my chin was a lot worse and I felt self-conscious for quite a while.’
Cummins has since noticed a few more raised lumps on her forehead and, after further testing, it was confirmed these too will also have to be removed.
She said: ‘It just shows that this can happen to anyone, unfortunately, I neglected my skin and now I am facing the consequences.
‘It’s also really important for people to be more conscious of what creams and lotions they are putting onto their bodies, some are filled with toxic chemicals and these are just as bad for you.’
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