I'm 52 and thought I was too old for zits – but squeezing it led to the discovery I had cancer | The Sun

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 became "really sore," she said.

The pimple would flare up and down, she said, but Davis went to see a doctor after she squeezed it and it wouldn’t stop 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 cut the cancer out and had the skin of her nose stretched to cover the remaining hole.

Now, Davis is recovering from the surgery and won’t need further treatment.

The account manager, from Orewa, New Zealand, said: "I thought 'what am I doing getting a pimple at 52'.

"It will go away – I kept telling myself.

"It would flare up and go back down.

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"I remember squeezing it and nothing coming out.

"Then it bled and bled and bled – for like 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 would spent time covering it up with concealer.

"It was really hard," she said.

"Like a volcano under the skin.

"I went walking with my girlfriend and it went purple and she pointed it out.

"I said 'it’s just a pimple.'

"I was in denial."

Davis said the spot became "really sore" by January and she tried to squeeze it.

She said: "Nothing happened.

"Then it bled and bled.

"I thought ‘that’s not normal.'"

Davis went to 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 a nasal flap reconstruction at Ormiston Hospital in to remove the cancer and pull the nose skin over the hole.

She said: "They cut up my nose in a zig zag. They cut out a crater. There was a hole in the end of my nose.

"They then bring the skin down to cover it."

Davis was left with scaring and different shaped nostrils but said it is healing well.

She said: "It’s still healing.

"My nostrils are different shapes because they stretched the skin.

"The scar tissue is hard. The nerves are numb.

"Some people end up losing their nose so thank goodness."

Davis will be monitored once a year as she said she can be more prone to skin cancer now she has had it once.

She wants to raise awareness of the symptoms so other people can go get it checked out.

"If I’d kept ignoring it, it would have got way bigger.

"I might have got to the stage where they couldn’t cut it out.

"I honestly thought it was a pimple.

"I thought skin cancer was a mole.

"Skin block wasn't a thing when I was growing up.

"Now it's in my day to day skin care."

Davis has had her stitches out and is now looking after her skin and upping her collagen in take to help with scarring.

She said: "At first I thought I’m 52 and single, now I’m going to have this hideous nose.

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"But it’s been quite empowering.

"It’s only skin deep. It’s what’s on the inside that counts."

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