May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and I thought I’d share a recent patient story with you…
One of my regular patients came to see me recently and asked me about this lesion on her ear.
It had been bothering her for sometime, but with the problems that people are having these days in getting to see their GP, she was finding it difficult to get a face-to-face appointment to have it examined.
She had tried the econsult and been asked to send in a photograph but it’s very difficult to take a photograph in focus of your own ear!
So she asked me about it.
As you know there’s nothing I love more than to look at people’s skin and I was more than happy to get my dermatoscope on it to give it a closer look.
I applied the “ABCDE” rule which is helpful in remembering the warning signs of melanoma:
Asymmetry. The shape of one-half of the mole does not match the other.
Border. The edges are ragged, notched, uneven, or blurred.
Colour. Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. …
So when you look at that photograph you can see that there are a few of those features present in that lesion which could indicate it’s a potential melanoma.
That is what prompted me to request a referral for her to see a specialist dermatologist to have it looked at.
I took these pictures, emailed them directly to her GP with a request to do that and and I’m happy to report that they acted promptly and in referred her immediately under the 2week rule.
The good news is it turned out not to be a melanoma at all!
It was a condition called chondrodermatitis nodularis!
This is what the PCDS website says about it :-https://www.pcds.org.uk/clinical-guidance/chondermatitis-nodularis-helicis
This is caused by a combination of pressure and compromised local blood supply, often it happens in people who regularly sleep on one side at night and also cold weather can be a trigger for it.
I’m happy to report that with a special aperture pillow, my patient is now able to offload that area and sleep comfortably once again. She’s also got the peace of mind of knowing it’s not skin cancer.
If you’ve got worries or concerns, you can find useful information here