The conversation went a bit like this:
I have a rash on my breast and my nipple is a slightly darker colour than it used to be.
Can I take a look?
I bare all.
Hmm. I’ll have to fact check, but the breast clinic want to check out any changes like this in case of breast disease. Let’s have a look…. ah, it says non-responsive eczema. Let’s try some dactakort and you can come back in a week if it’s no better and I’ll refer you.
Isn’t that an antifungal? I said I’ve already tried clotrimazole and terbinafine.
It is, and it contains a mild steroid. I’ll just give you the steroid then.
Hold on, what will happen when I stop using the steroid? Won’t it just come back?
Yes. But you can just use a moisturiser.
I’m not really happy about using steroids, at all.
A dermatologist told me that he has never seen any side effects whatsoever from using hydrocortisone on the skin.
[WTF? Is he living in a hole? The problems with long term use of topical steroids are well documented. At this point I realise the man was going to be of no use whatsoever. What kind of idiot says the words “breast disease” and then sends the patient away with a steroid?]
I have a 1 year old daughter. If there is any chance at all, no matter how small, ANY chance, then I would like to be referred.
Okay then. But there might be a few raised eyebrows.
I don’t care about raised eyebrows. (Because when was the last time raised eyebrows were a good reason to NOT get breast changes checked out?)
And that was that.
I should be seen within two weeks, which is the UK urgent referal timeline.
When I got home the husband and I dug out Bupa and I called them. I am covered, but they need a referal so I had to call back the surgery to get info on the type of consultant I needed to see.
I am still waiting on that, so at present I have neither an NHS referal or a private one. I’m just waiting and trying not to be super-stressed and frustrated.