A warning to not be a statistic of the sun - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

A warning to not be a statistic of the sun

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) -

Have you ever had a health problem where you knew you really should have it checked, but you put it off?  A woman in Conway did that and she lost part of her face because of it.

Her desire to tan in the sun and tanning beds led to a powerful lesson she wants to share with you. 

Jenny Faulk spent most every day since she was a little girl in the sun and in tanning beds. 

"Barefoot, bathing suits, tank tops, shorts," she said. "And I never wore sunscreen. That's one thing you should always wear." 

Faulk learned a difficult lesson about overexposure to sun and the lack of wearing sun protection. That awareness started in 2014 when a bump developed on her nose. 

"It would be itchy, dry, and I would scratch and scratch," she said. "And I'd put moisturizers on it. And it would just never go away." 

She thought she was allergic to her moisturizer so she changed to a new product. 

"And then it got to where it was just getting bigger like wider and I thought well something's not right here.  It's just not going away." 

Faulk finally went to a dermatologist. 

"The minute she saw me she said, 'How long has that been on your nose?' And I said a year, maybe a little more. And I knew by the look on her face that it was more than dry skin." 

Faulk had basal cell carcinoma. Her delay in getting treatment allowed the skin cancer to spread so viciously, doctors had to remove part of her nose and a chunk of her cheek.  Dr. Todd Lefkowitz with Lexington Plastic Surgery at Lexington Medical Center then redesigned and repaired her face in a three-stage reconstruction. 

Dr. Lefkowitz took her forehead, raised it up and then turned it down to make her nose. At the same time, because a large part of her cheek was missing, he had to take cheek skin and cheek tissue that was beside it, raise it up and move it over to try and create a more natural nose/cheek junction. 

Dr. Lefkowitz then took cartilage from Jenny's ear and put it in her nose to give it more support. 

"We took a little bit of skin and we put it as a skin graft on the undersurface to line the internal part of the nose so when she breathes some of that air can flow easier and be humidified as it goes through." 

After the extra flap of skin on the nose from the forehead formed its own blood supply, Dr. Lefkowitz was able to detach it from the forehead giving it a smoother appearance. 

"The hope is that no one gets into her position," Lefkowitz said. "Obviously, the earlier you catch skin cancer, whether it's melanoma or non-melanoma, basal cell or squamous cell, it's very treatable and often times, it's treatable without surgery." 

Faulk has her face back, but only after a very invasive treatment plan that could have been avoided. 

She warns everyone, "If it's something there that doesn't go away within a couple weeks, get it looked at. Get it looked at. Don't wait." 

Dr. Lefkowitz emphasizes the need to bring up to your doctor anything questionable on your body. 

"The worst thing you can do is have a concern and wish it away 'cause often times, it doesn't go away and a lot of times it just gets worse."

Copyright 2016 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Saudi women take the wheel as longstanding driving ban ends

    Saudi women take the wheel as longstanding driving ban ends

    Sunday, June 24 2018 4:24 AM EDT2018-06-24 08:24:57 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 10:37 AM EDT2018-06-24 14:37:26 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty). Hessah al-Ajaji drivers her car down the capital's busy Tahlia Street after midnight for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Saudi women are in the driver's seat for the first time in their countr...(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty). Hessah al-Ajaji drivers her car down the capital's busy Tahlia Street after midnight for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. Saudi women are in the driver's seat for the first time in their countr...

    Saudi women steered their way through busy streets for the first time just minutes after the world's last remaining ban on women driving was lifted.

    More >>

    Saudi women steered their way through busy streets for the first time just minutes after the world's last remaining ban on women driving was lifted.

    More >>
  • 'Game of Thrones' co-stars Kit Harington, Rose Leslie wed

    'Game of Thrones' co-stars Kit Harington, Rose Leslie wed

    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:05 AM EDT2018-06-23 14:05:01 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 10:35 AM EDT2018-06-24 14:35:40 GMT
    Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland. (Source: AP Photos)Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland. (Source: AP Photos)

    Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland.

    More >>

    Former "Game of Thrones" co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are marrying at the bride's family castle in Scotland.

    More >>
  • Zsa Zsa, the English bulldog, wins World's Ugliest Dog title

    Zsa Zsa, the English bulldog, wins World's Ugliest Dog title

    Sunday, June 24 2018 12:36 AM EDT2018-06-24 04:36:02 GMT
    Sunday, June 24 2018 10:29 AM EDT2018-06-24 14:29:27 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog owned by Megan Brainard, stands onstage after being announced the winner of the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., Saturday, June 23, 2018.(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu). Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog owned by Megan Brainard, stands onstage after being announced the winner of the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., Saturday, June 23, 2018.

    A 9-year-old English bulldog was named the winner of the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog contest in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    More >>

    A 9-year-old English bulldog was named the winner of the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog contest in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly