A WOMAN who thought she just had a pimple on her nose has been diagnosed with skin cancer.
Michelle Davis, 52, spotted the red bump in April 2022 and thought it was just a spot until it got “really painful”, she said.
The pimple flared up and down, she said, but Davis went to see a doctor after pressing it and it kept bleeding.
The doctor immediately thought it was cancer.
Following a biopsy, Davis was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer.
She underwent surgery to remove the cancer and had the skin of her nose stretched to cover the remaining hole.
Now Davis is recovering from the surgery and won’t need any further treatment.
The account manager, from Orewa, New Zealand, said: ‘I thought to myself ‘what am I doing to get a pimple at 52’.
“It’s going to go away – I kept telling myself.
“It would flare up and come back down.
“I remember squeezing it and nothing came of it.
“Then it bled and bled and bled – for about a week.
“I was in shock when I found out. I had never heard of basal cell carcinoma.”
Davis first spotted the “pimple” a year ago and spent time covering it up with concealer.
“It was really difficult,” she said.
“Like a volcano under the skin.
“I went for a walk with my girlfriend and it turned purple and she pointed it out.
“I said ‘it’s just a button.’
“I was in denial.”
Davis said the spot got “really sore” in January and she tried to squeeze it.
She said: “Nothing happened.
“Then it bled and bled.
“I thought ‘this is not normal.'”
Davis went to see her doctor in February and was told it looked like skin cancer.
A biopsy confirmed she had basal cell carcinoma and she was told she would need surgery to remove the cancer.
Last month, Davis underwent nasal flap reconstruction at Ormiston Hospital to remove the cancer and pull the skin from the nose over the hole.
She said: “They cut my nose in a zigzag pattern. They dug a crater. There was a hole at the end of my nose.
“They then bring the skin back to cover it.”
Davis was left with scary, differently shaped nostrils, but said it was healing well.
She said: “It’s still healing.
“My nostrils have different shapes because they have stretched the skin.
“The scar tissue is hard. The nerves are numb.
“Some people end up losing their noses, so thank goodness.”
Davis will be monitored once a year as she said she may be more prone to skin cancer now than she once had it.
She wants to raise awareness of the symptoms so other people can go get it checked out.
“If I had continued to ignore it, it would have grown much bigger.
“I may have gotten to the stage where they couldn’t cut it.
“Honestly, I thought it was a pimple.
“I thought skin cancer was a mole.
“Skin blockage wasn’t a thing when I was growing up.
“Now it’s in my daily skincare.”
Davis had his stitches and is now tending to his skin and increasing his collagen intake to help with healing.
She said: “At first I thought I was 52 and single, now I’m going to have this ugly nose.
“But it was quite stimulating.
“It’s only superficial. It’s what’s inside that counts.”