Please note: this article contains images of a medical nature that some readers may consider graphic.
A self-confessed sun worshipper has been sharing photos of the treatment she’s having on her skin after developing pre-cancerous cells.
Mags Murphy, 45, from Dublin, hopes the images on her Facebook page will raise awareness of the dangers of sitting in the sun.
The mum admitted to spending long periods of time outside without sufficient suncream during her 10 years living in Crete, then topping up her tan using sun beds when she visited family back home in Ireland.
”I’ve spent over a decade living in Crete tanning myself to ‘look good’, thinking ‘hey I’m brown I don’t need high sun factor,’” Murphy said on Facebook.
“I’ve spent summers doing sun beds just for a tan in the shitty Irish weather and a childhood running the streets all day with not a thought for sun factor.
“Unfortunately all this lovely tanning has a price to pay, ‘cause now I have pre-cancerous cells on my face and have started treatment to remove them.”
Murphy said she’s using creams to “burn” out the abnormal cells on her face. Without treatment, pre-cancerous cells can develop into cancer.
According to the NHS, there are two types of creams commonly used to treat non-melanoma skin cancer and pre-cancerous cells: chemotherapy creams, which contain a medication called 5-fluorouracil, and immune stimulating creams, which contain a medication called imiquimod.
Common side effects of both creams include redness, flaking or peeling skin and itchiness. Less common and more serious side effects include blistering or skin ulceration.
Murphy has posted photos of her face most days throughout her treatment.
In each post her face appears increasingly red and irritated.
On day nine she said she felt like someone had put a cigarette out on her face. On day 17, she said she was struggling to open her mouth, smile or yawn.
More than 10,000 people have liked Murphy’s Facebook page about her treatment and she said her main priority is to raise awareness about skin cancer.
“I’m sharing this to try and raise awareness to sun damage and using high factor sun lotion,” she said in one post.
“I heard all the warnings years ago and closed my eyes and ears to it all. Maybe someone will open their eyes to this if it’s closer to home.
“I’m not looking for sympathy just to raise awareness.”