While I was on my 'vacation' from the blog and since I came back I've noticed that the most popular post I've ever written is "Let's Get Petty", about my search for a natural way of dealing with actinic keratosis. Well here's a new round in the saga. Just how much petty spurge sap should one use?
First, let me tell you what I've done since I last wrote on this topic.
I am not very good at activities that need to be repeated every day (like taking vitamins) so my use of the spurge has been sporadic at best. However, around Christmas time (which, like Valentines Day I barely noticed) I decided it was time to get down to business with the nagging little spot above my lip. So I chose about a three week period in which I didn't expect to be doing anything I'd need to look good for, and went to work. I applied spurge sap for about three or four days running, then let the skin rest until the scab came off, then immediately went back for three more days of applications then rested again and so forth. As a result, the spot now seem to be slightly hollowed (presumably due to skin cells being eaten away along with the keratosis). Beyond that the spot now seems to have healed. However, much to my chagrin, right next to it there is a new spot that has started flaking and that I will begin treating today.
|You can see both the hollowness and the new flaking here.|
|Here is my lovely one year old petty spurge plant.|
It is also non-invasive. I could go on treating similar spots in this fashion for the rest of my life without ever entering a hospital, or even a doctor's office. (Don't get me wrong, I have no beef with doctors or the medical profession, I just prefer to do for myself if I can.) And the results do not look any worse, and indeed may look better in some cases, than the scars I've seen from skin cancers being surgically removed.
Now, back to our original question. How petty should we get?
As it turns out, I recently received a comment on "Let's Get Petty" that speaks very well into this question:
The active ingredient in the sap of the Petty Spurge (Euphorbia Peplus) is Ingenol Mebutate. This unique molecule does two things: 1) causes necrosis on rapidly dividing cells (keratosis and possibly carcinoma) 2) induces a strong wound healing response to repair the necrosis with healthy cell. The rub is that newly forming healthy cells are ALSO rapidly dividing cells. I would caution against overuse of the sap. Apply once a day for 3 days and then let it work. Do not keep applying because you may now be killing healthy cells. This is the challenge with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) that my have spread deeper into the tissues. More work needs to be done on how best to treat these types of lesions.I have no idea who posted this response, but it is deeply appreciated. With my experience so far I would say that this is good advice to follow. That business of killing healthy cells is probably what caused the hollow spot where my original keratosis was and the part about new rapidly dividing cells, could explain the new flakiness right next to the old spot. So be careful folks. As with any herbal medicine advice I strongly recommend that you do your own research, and that you proceed with the greatest of caution.
If you want to read my other posts on petty spurge and actinic keratosis/skin cancer click here.
Now get out there and get lovey dovey with someone!