A simple trip to the manicure — including a deep cut in the cuticle area — gave a resident of California (USA) skin cancer.
Grace Garcia, 50, used to go to the same manicurist every time, but in late 2021, with the rush ahead of Thanksgiving, she headed to another salon, which looked “upscale.”
“Is it over there [manicure] cut me, and the cut wasn’t just a normal cut in the cuticle. It cut me deep, and it was one of the first times it had ever happened to me,” Grace told the TV show Todayfrom the broadcaster NBC.
The client also states that she could not verify at that moment if the professional used sterilized instruments.
The cut turned into an injury that, according to Grace, “never got better”, but it wasn’t that bad.
She resorted to an antibiotic ointment, but continued to have a bulge on her injured finger.
It was then that the woman decided to see a doctor, but was diagnosed with a “writing callus”, something she considered inappropriate, as she did not use her ring finger when writing.
In April 2022, Grace went to her gynecologist, who suggested that she see a dermatologist. That last one just told her to keep an eye on the injury.
The wound evolved from a bulge to an open wound and later to a wart. That’s when she went to another dermatologist and underwent a biopsy. “I knew it wasn’t good,” she vented to the Today.
What was found was squamous cell carcinoma, a common type of skin cancer.
Although this tumor is very common due to exposure to the sun, in Grace’s case, doctors found something unusual: the cause of the cancer was the human papillomavirus, HPV.
“It is very rare for several reasons. In general, the strains that cause cancer from the point of view of HPV tend to be more sexually transmitted,” explained dermatologist Teo Soleymani, who treated Grace.
According to the specialist, the injury caused by the pliers on the patient’s finger “became the gateway” of the virus.
“So that thick skin that we have on our hands and feet that acts as a natural barrier against infections and things like that was gone, and the virus was able to infect her skin,” he added.
The discovery of early-stage cancer “probably saved her from having her finger amputated”, commented the doctor.
She underwent surgery that used a technique that allows the doctor to see 100% of the edge of the tumor and completely remove it, which ensures a “high cure rate” without removing too much skin.
Soleymani further recommended that anyone who has a skin growth that doesn’t go away in about four weeks should see a doctor. In addition, he recommends vaccination against HPV as a way to minimize risks.
Nail cancer, specifically, is a different type than Grace’s. Him can be confused, for example, with a mycosis.
Know myths and truths about skin cancer