One of Bioelements most popular and knowledgeable skin care professionals, Deanna Vaughn was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2005. We asked if she could share her story with you. Read Part 1 here. She shares Part 2 below.
I followed my doctor's directions to keep Bacitracin, an antibacterial ointment, on the incisions and keep it covered with gauze so those tissue edges could heal together nicely (Neosproin tends to cause dermatitis in many people so it was not recommended). After a week the sutures came out and a flesh colored tape was applied that would sit on the site for at least a week or until it fell off. I was very careful and it stayed on for 2 weeks. After that I had to use Kelocote scar topical to help it heal on the surface but to also help make it so the mass of tissue would not form and stay under the skin. Over time it healed very nicely and I do not have the mass under the skin. (As your skin heals you may out of the blue feel a sharp pain at the surgery site and that is not comfortable — they last for a short time though.)
The Benefits of Good Skin Care Habits
I know that with my good skin care agenda over the years prior to surgery – using the right products for my skin type and getting regular professional facials, plus having great doctors and following their directions, I was able to heal up phenomenally. Today, all I have is a little pink around the area and a scar that is only visible if I point it out with no makeup on.
What I Learned – Professionally & Personally
Here's what I took away from my experience that I hope you will pay close attention to – whether you're a skin care professional like me or just want to know what's best for your skin:
1. When dealing with clients, I never touch anything on the skin if I don't know exactly what it is. When in doubt, always refer to their doctor.
2. Be very careful with anyone who has had facial surgery. That skin can be very sensitive and hurt with too much pressure or rough touch, temperature, technique, or aggressive product.
3. Always make sure a client's doctor gives the go ahead after surgery, to let you know they have achieved enough healing to enjoy professional treatments again, and follow that doctor's directions for maximum outcome.
4. Your first line of sun protection should always be from a broad spectrum sunscreen. Don't rely only on wearing makeup that has an SPF – that's something you can wear in addition to a great broad spectrum sunscreen.
6. I am careful when in the sun or driving. I am always protected. I usually wear SPF 15 on my body skin and garments that have SPF built in to protect me when I drive, run, and are out in the sun for any length of time.
Today, I am still cancer free as of my last exam in 2011! I'm due for my next appointment later this year.
Have any questions for Deanna about her skin cancer diagnosis, surgery or recovery? Ask her in the comments.
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