I’m one of those people who, having been irritated beyond endurance by the lack of real help from England’s National Health Service, more often than not, resorts to self surgery to sort out minor problems.
A few years ago I noticed what seemed to be an area of extra dry skin appear in the middle of my forehead. It was slightly higher than the surrounding skin and had a slightly rough texture. All efforts to combat it failed; from extra moisturisers to exfoliating it vigorously, nothing worked and it grew until it was about 1cm in diameter. It didn’t hurt and it didn’t bother me other than the fact that is was unsightly and being right in the middle of my forehead, I couldn’t hide it. It also didn’t tan like the rest of my face and in the summer it would be pale and therefore, more noticeable still.
Eventually, at the end of last year I finally decided I wanted rid of it and after googling for a while, discovered it was a type of wart called a flat wart, which are common on the face. Being caused by a virus, HPV, moisturising was bound to be totally ineffectual so I needed a bigger sledge hammer to crack this nut. I googled how to remove them and found an interesting array of videos espousing the miracle of Apple Cider Vinegar as a wart cure and thought, “why the hell not try it, I’m desperate.”
Each night I soaked a small square piece of cotton wool pad (like the flat pads you take eye make up off with) in the cider vinegar and applied it to the wart and covered it completely with elastoplast to keep out the air so the cider vinegar doesn’t dry. After 48 hours I noticed the top surface began to change so I took a dental pick (the hook shaped tool you can buy to pic your teeth with) and gently scraped at it to see what would happen. Well what happened was that the whole top surface of the wart scraped off painlessly. It bled a lot but didn’t hurt at all so I applied a new vinegar soaked pad and followed the same procedure each night for a week until I was happy I had got ‘all the way down.’ Once I was happy it had all gone, I applied Bepanthen cream (sold in the baby dept) and re applied a couple of times a day until it was healed.
I now have a totally smooth forehead and the vaguest of marks where the wart used to be. It isn’t a scar exactly, just a slight change in the texture of the skin in that small area but it’s almost impossible to notice if you don’t know what was there before. I’m delighted it is so easy to remove warts and have since dealt with two more smaller ones at the outer corner of my left eye, with equal success. Cider Vinegar is now a permanent resident within my home.
A few weeks ago I awoke one morning with a pain in my left upper eyelid. It hurt for a couple of days before I noticed a small lump appear in the middle of my upper eyelid. I immediately assumed it was a stye and knew that it would eventually heal itself. After a week or so of no obvious ‘head’ appearing and no pain, I realised it probably wasn’t a stye so I googled (he really is your friend you know) and discovered to my horror that is was a Chelazion. Now these buggers appear for no apparent reason and can stay for years before disappearing on their own. Well there was no way I was putting up with that so I researched on how to deal with them. Also during this time I had an eye test for contact lenses and the optician commented on it and told me my lash lines on both eyes were “mucky” and confirmed it to be a chelazion. He advised regular hot compresses and gave it a good squeeze but said he couldn’t get all of the muck out of it. I noticed that as it got bigger, it affected my eyesight and made the vision in my left eye, totally doubled. I began to wonder if I was safe to drive.
This is what a Chelazion looks like.
So began the daily routine of hot compresses and lash line scrubbing with a face cloth. Five times a day I’d be bent over the bathroom sink, scrubbing my lash line with a boiling hot face cloth before putting that same cloth on my eye for up to ten minutes. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve developed an unnaturally high tolerance for hot water and I have what my grandmother used to call ‘asbestos hands.’ Two days ago I noticed that when I squeezed the lump, a tiny white dot would appear right in my lash line so I ran to my craft box and got a pin. One quick jab and a huge blob of pus squirted out. From that moment on my Chelazion has gradually reduced in size with the help of regular hot compresses and lash line scrubbing and this morning I can allow myself to believe that it may be totally gone within the next day or so. My eyesight is also much better without the pressure of this thing squashing my eyeball.
Even after it’s gone, I’m going to continue making sure I scrub my lash lines daily, to keep them free from muck that might block the ducts and cause another Chelazion.
Not being blessed with good looks, these minor but unsightly nuisances are more than I can tolerate and I am glad that I have the knowledge and presence of mind to deal with them myself, rather than rely on overworked doctors who just tell me to “leave it alone and see how it goes.”