A WOMAN was left needing reconstructive surgery after a herbal remedy she used to treat her skin cancer burnt through her nose, The Sun reports. The unidentified woman used black salve to treat her basal cell carcinoma.
The topical paste is a controversial alternative cancer treatment which burns through skin tissue and can cause scarring. While some tip it as a cancer cure, the claims aren’t based in science and the US Food and Drug Administration has listed is as a ‘fake cancer cure’.
It starts be showing the skin cancer on the lady’s nose. She applied the salve to it and to her forehead, as she was convinced she had another basal cell carcinoma there.
Within days, she’d developed huge black and green scabs on the areas. This were formed as the salve ate at her skin – eventually leaving her with a huge crater in the tip of her nose.
The hole was so big the woman would even breathe through it. Greatest Medical – Case Studies found her story on an internet forum about skin cancer. She spoke about using the salve, revealing that within two days one of her eyes had almost swollen shut.
Although this worried her she persevered, but later told readers what she was experiencing. “The eschar [thick black scar left by the salve] is still attached to my nose, but it’s loose enough that tonight, I could pull the top part away enough to see that my worst fear/outcome is going to be my reality,” she wrote.
“I can see my nose cartilage underneath the eschar, and I can even pull air through the top/front area of my nose if I completely clog my nostrils. To put it bluntly, there is no skin left under the eschar to regenerate NEW SKIN outward from the centre of the eschar pit.”
She wrote of feeling “sickened and freaked out” by what had happened to her nose, and her fear that she would need plastic surgery to repair it.
Unfortunately, the woman did need to have reconstructive surgery to repair her nose. Pastes like black salve were used to treat lesions in the 1900s, but they were eventually replaced by things which were viewed as much safer.
This type of ointment is known as an escharotic and they are unregulated, which means there’s no way of knowing exactly what’s in them – or their strength – when they are bought.