Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Not for the faint hearted

The photo lower down is not very pretty, you have been warned...

It was not a bad night last night, though Sal decided that she had had enough kip at six o'clock, and started mooching about and whining to go through into the bedroom. I tried taking her out for a pee, after which she decided to snuggle with me for a while but then went back to "Why can't I go and see Granny?"

We finally all got a bit more kip and followed it up with a leisurely lie in. I've since done the walk round the marina with the pooch (twice) and been down into the village to draw cash from the Post Office. It continues to be more like summer and is seemingly scheduled to stay like it until Friday at least.

What's not for the faint hearted isn't so much the photo as the treatment with Efudix cream, aka 5-fluorouracil. Applied topically, it is taken up by rapidly dividing cells such as those forming an actinic keratosis, where it basically mucks up the DNA-RNA exchange process by pretending to be uracil, one of the RNA bases or genetic letters.

The cell then realises it's stuffed and dies or undergoes apoptosis in the jargon of microbiology. After three weeks the skin is red, sore, crusting and peeling as a result, much the way it would be, indeed, if it had been badly radiation burnt and for much the same reason; the top layer of skin cells is dying off rapidly.

You'd think that stopping the cream would make things better, but in fact they go on getting worse for a while. This is what the first treated area looked like yesterday afternoon:

I'm surprised I don't scare the kids

I'm just glad I didn't have to do my whole face, as some poor folk do. Seemingly it will be back to normal in a month or two. Moral of the story, use sun block and wear a big hat, folks. Next, the backs of my hands are for the treatment.


1 comment:

Jo said...

Never mind Bruce. We still love you. And you'll be far more conscious of it than we are .... 'tis always thus with such things