Will Bueché

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My body, my week, part 2

Posted in Personal by Will on Sunday, October 1st, 2006 ~ 12am

Aside from that, I successfully performed a medical miracle on a blood-red, mole-like splotch less than a centimeter across that I noticed on the side of my head an inch above my ear. I hadn’t noticed it before, and thought perhaps my thinning hair had revealed something I’d always had but never known about — but I wasn’t sure. Maybe it was new. If it was something new, maybe it could be eliminated. So I searched, and found:

“Cherry Angioma is the most common kind of angioma. It is also called a Senile Angioma. These are made up of clusters of tiny capillaries at the surface of the skin, and range in color from bright red to purple. When they first develop, they may only be a few millimeters across, but sometimes grow to a centimeter or more in diameter. As they grow larger, they tend to expand in thickness, and may take on the raised and rounded shape of a dome. Because the blood vessels comprising the angioma are so close to the skin’s surface, cherry angiomas may bleed profusely if they are injured. For this reason, removal of a cherry angioma should take place under a doctor’s care.”

I read on:

“Treatment: Physicians may use cryosurgery, electrosurgery, or laser treatment to remove cherry angiomas.”

Blood vessels? We’ve all dealt with broken blood vessels every time we heal a cut. But what really intruiged me was the description of the treatment: cryo.

Cryo? I can do cryo myself. I have an over-the-counter cryo cannister intended to freeze warts (though damn slight bit of good it did with that).

Maybe I could apply it to the side of my head, I thought. I didn’t know how my hair would react. Would freezing this red patch on my scalp kill the hair folicles there? If it did, would it be noticeable? Which would be worse — a little hairless patch less than a centimeter across, or a raised red bump? Anticipating that someday I’ll shave my head like a monk (when I finally have no chance of managing my mane), I decided I’d risk it.

So I fired up the cryo cannister and applied a new, sterile, frozen tip to the patch as best I could for several seconds while juggling a mirror. And I did that like 2 or 3 more times, for a total of perhaps 20 seconds. And again once more the next day for 5 or 6 seconds just to be sure it got the message.

Of course this amount of freezing killed the outer layer of skin, which flaked off within a day like dandruff, but evidently I’d restrained myself enough, for the underlying skin was ok. And the result I’d hoped for: The stray blood vessels that had made this patch red had have apparently completely frozen, shrunk, and vanished from whence they came.

I don’t even think I have a scar there. And my hair folicles survived.

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