Gransnet forums


Rodent ulcer on face

(25 Posts)
Luckylegs Mon 26-Apr-21 19:05:36

I’ve just been told that this tiny red lump on my face may be a rodent ulcer. I’ve no idea how long it’s been there, at least ten years I guess. It’s right at the top of my nose very near my inner eyelid. I think I thought I’d caught it with my nail at first and it kept scabbing which came off and it just never disappeared. Only a few days ago, I realised it wasn’t a little scab as I’d thought but a little red ‘wart’ almost.

Over the phone and by sending photos, the nurse practitioner at my surgery thinks it might be a BCC or rodent ulcer and advised me to get a private appointment if I wanted with a dermatologist as it would take weeks to go through the NHS and we hope to go away this summer for an extended holiday. I’ve managed to get one this Thursday but I’ve been told I would be better to go directly to a plastic surgeon as a dermatologist will probably send me to plastics to have it removed anyway!

Has anyone any advice, been through it, know whether dermatology or plastic surgery is the best for the initial appointment? I’ll have to go back to the NHS after for the surgery obviously. I also realise my days of sunbathing have finished but I have never got sun on my face and particularly in such a hidden position.

PamelaJ1 Mon 26-Apr-21 19:18:26

Lucky legs, if it’s been there ten years then it must be growing very slowly.
Mine grew quite quickly compared to that. I have had a been to both NHS and private. NHS were useless in my opinion. Last time told me it would be at least a year before I saw a consultant . I went privately, to a dermatologist. I didn’t need a plastic surgeon because mine were quite straightforward to remove.
My last one was on my nose. £180 for consultation. £800 for the op.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 26-Apr-21 19:27:35

A Dermatologist will confirm what it is, so far you have only spoken to your Surgery, then you can talk about plastic surgery if you need it.

BlueBelle Mon 26-Apr-21 19:32:31

They are very slow growing my mum had two removed and my uncle who was older they said just leave it they are so slow it will outlive you
Mum did have a scar on the side of her nose but not an ugly scar nothing that could t be covered with a bit of make up she had hers done on the NHS but it was a while back so don’t know about waiting lists now

Sar53 Mon 26-Apr-21 19:49:08

My husband saw a dermatologist within two weeks of seeing his GP. Two weeks later had a biopsy taken, results within two weeks, a BCC. He now has an appointment on the 1st June with the dermatologist to discuss treatment. This is all NHS. All very straightforward and his GP is very on the ball.

Katie59 Mon 26-Apr-21 19:55:32

Mum had a few treated, most were benign and just frozen, a quick zap and little sign after, I think one was surgically removed, advice given stay out of the sun.

Puzzler61 Mon 26-Apr-21 19:57:09

I had something that sounds very similar 3 years ago.
Don’t panic Luckylegs, these are common.
Like Pamela I went to a Dermatologist privately as the NHS wait was long.
At the first consultation the Dermatologist said he would deal with it there and then if I wanted - and I did.
It was a rodent ulcer and the treatment was quick and painless.

4 weeks later just a light coloured mark was left. Total cost was a little under £1300.
The Path lab result after said it was a B.C.C. and most likely caused by exposure to sun.

BlueBelle Mon 26-Apr-21 20:09:00

Just remember my friends husband had two removed last year on NHS and didn’t have a long wait they healed very quickly with no scar

EllanVannin Mon 26-Apr-21 20:16:27

Rodent ulcers have a habit of returning for some unknown reason. I had one underneath my breast of all places, had it removed a few years ago and blow me it's come back. When I pluck up courage I'll get it removed.

It's all the messing with the warfarin doses that I have to put up with first, then testing for bleeding times that puts me off rushing to make an appointment, though I know I'll have to get it done. I can't wear a bra because it rubs on it.

Luckylegs Mon 26-Apr-21 23:27:04

Thanks for your replies. My DIL works in plastic surgery at a hospital a bit further away but still localish, but the nurse said they weren’t doing outpatients or something. Because it would be some time, I decided to see a consultant privately but there’s no way I could have it removed privately unfortunately. My DIL said a dermatologist would need to do a biopsy (so wait for NHS) then maybe send me to plastics (another wait NHS) whereas if I went to a plastic surgeon first, the likelihood would be he would just put me on the list for surgical removal on the NHS, therefore saving time.

My problem here is our holidays. All the waiting will probably mean I’ll be called right in the middle and I won’t be here! If I was lucky (huh!) it would all be over with quickly and I could go away and recover but I can’t see that happening.

Another complication is that I have a blood cancer and I take a chemo tablet and aspirin every day so I will bruise terribly plus it’s in such an awkward position, I can imagine the mess I’ll be in! I am worrying about it all a lot.

Katie59 Tue 27-Apr-21 07:41:32

Don’t worry about holidays just say you have a holiday booked and they will schedule you later, for non urgent operations there are always others that are ill, so short notice slots are available.
I would say check up periodically to make sure you have not been forgotten

lemsip Tue 27-Apr-21 07:48:05

I believe these have to be seen within in two weeks for an initial assessment on the nhs.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 27-Apr-21 08:47:15

With our Surgery any lump or open sore is checked by a Consultant on the Two Week Wait scheme, just in case it’s Cancer.

I would have thought that a Plastic Surgeon would want a biopsy done before he went anywhere near it, especially with your Medical History.

Franbern Tue 27-Apr-21 09:05:41

Think you may have been spun a yarn about how long it would take going through the NHS.
I was a little concerned about a patch of wart type spots on one of my cheeks. Have had three BCC's on my face in the past.
Contacted my GP, was told to come in the following day for face to face consultations. Did so, was told I would be sent for Dermatology check at hospital. Received that appointment within a fortnight. Went, checked and nothing to worry about.

Gagagran Tue 27-Apr-21 09:33:12

I have had two on my face, just below my eye. The first obne, my GP froze off and it scabbed over and fell off. Left a small white-ish mark.

About 3 years later, another one came, next to the original one, and this time my GP sent me to the medical photographer at the hospital. He took a very close photo, so close that the camera was pressed quite hard against my skin, and some others a bit further away.

A few days later the GP rang to say it was not malignant and prescribed a special cream I had to use every day for some time. I was warned that it would get worse before it got better. It did get very red and quite sore but eventually cleared completely. Can't recall the name of the cream but it was some some sort of chemo base I believe.

Hope you get sorted Luckylegs. It is always a worry having these unwanted lumps and bumps appearing from nowhere. I have been warned to avoid sun on my face and chest so am very careful now.

Daisymae Tue 27-Apr-21 10:39:48

You should be seen as a matter of urgency. I had one removed years ago, the doctor said that BCC used to be called rodent ulcers they could be disfiguring in days of old. The good news is that they don't spread but do need to be removed. Equally until it's actually tested you won't get an accurate diagnosis. Mine was removed early and that was that. I was told to look out for others but fingers crossed.

Luckylegs Tue 27-Apr-21 13:02:40

The nurse (talked on phone and sent photos) said she could only refer me as a routine, it definitely wasn’t urgent and it would be at least eight weeks. I have no idea how long I’ve had it but it definitely has grown recently and changed. Obviously it’s slow growing but now I know about it, I want it off!

We’re going to see the dermatologist on Thursday and see what he says about proceeding. I suppose we could go privately all the way but don’t want to if not necessary obviously. Can’t really afford over £1000!

It seems odd that a nurse won’t see you face to face but the consultant will!

nanna8 Tue 27-Apr-21 14:32:07

My husband went to his GP with a dark mole on his face and he said it was nothing to worry about. I wasn’t happy and nagged him to go to a skin specialist. When he got there, a few weeks later, they did a biopsy and diagnosed a melanoma and whacked him straight into hospital. They removed it and he had a skin graft about 6 inches long, lots of stitches. Had he left it he would have had about 6 months left. If in doubt, seek another opinion!

PamelaJ1 Tue 27-Apr-21 14:38:37

Franbern if you were referring to me then my case was a bit complicated.
I first went to GP when the spot on my nose was tiny. I am prone to BCC’s and rather fond of my nose so I went straight away. They took a photo and sent it to some expert at the end of the line. Not a problem so I tried to forget it.
But it got bigger and I was still worried so took myself off to my local Spire. The senior consultant said it was nothing. I went away and tried to convince myself she was right but couldn’t.
Went back to the GP who said that because she had said it was nothing then I would not be referred as a priority and It may take a year. Could have been translated as - oh go away and stop bothering us😂
I went to a different dermatologist who agreed with me and removed it. The biopsy confirmed it was a BCC and I now have a scar on the tip of my nose to match the one on the side of my nose. Hopefully if(when) I have another one it chooses a different part of my face.

Marydoll Tue 27-Apr-21 14:43:31

If it is of any consolation, Lucky, my mum a former nurse had what she called a rodent ulcer just above her eye. She had it for over forty years and constantly refused treatment as she hadn't/wouldn't accept that medicine had moved on a great deal since her pre-war nursing days.

By the time we were able to get treatment, (it was a basel cell carcinoma) as we had POA, it had left six inches of raw flesh on her head, but it was not the cause of her death. It was all on the surface of her skin and had taken forty years to get to that stage.

You are doing the right thing to push it. Good luck and I hope you can resolve it soon.

GoldenLady Tue 27-Apr-21 14:52:27

Sounds like a BCC I had removed from my nose. Small, pink in color, itchy. I thought it was an insect bite at first!

But the dermatologist took one look and said "I want a biopsy of that." Turned out it was malignant, not a particularly horrible form of cancer, but still not something you'd want growing on your face. It was easily removed by a surgeon right there in the office, and I had to keep a bandaid on it for a couple of weeks.

Luckylegs Fri 30-Apr-21 14:21:51

Reporting back now. The Consultant confirmed it is a BCC and needs to come off but no danger of infiltration and no rush. He recommends that I get referred to Plastic Surgery at the hospital my DIL works at. He pointed out that it’s in such an awkward place, it might end up pulling my eye uncomfortably. He’s willing to do it privately but actually said ‘save your money, there’s no rush, go on the NHS’! Wow! I feel reassured and he answered all my questions. Thank you so much for your replies.

Puzzler61 Fri 30-Apr-21 16:23:52

It’s good your appointment has reassured you Luckylegs.
Hopefully whenever you get it removed it won’t coincide with your holiday. 💐
You will need to be very careful with time spent in the sun always from now on and cover your face in sun block.
I wear a sun hat too.

Buffybee Fri 30-Apr-21 18:05:57

Reassuring news Luckylegs, you can breathe a sigh of relief....

Luckylegs Fri 30-Apr-21 19:13:17

I said to the Consultant that I never get my face in the sun on purpose (and it would be impossible to get it right in that corner where the BCC is) as I always have a hat on, glasses and reading a book. He agreed that actually people get these things, not from sunbathing, but from just walking to the car or just pottering about! I will be very very careful in future though.

He also pointed out that I should not take aspirin for ten days prior to my op as I would bleed terribly. I’ll have to ask my oncology nurse to make sure.