A woman who was diagnosed with skin cancer on her face has used social media to show how 'unrecognisable' she had become.
In 2018, Deirdre Bonass first got diagnosed with Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) – the most common form of skin cancer and the most frequently occurring form of all cancers.
The cancerous cells – which were on the side of Ms Bonass' nose, and at the top of her forehead – were surgically removed.
On Lunchtime Live, Ms Bonass said in the last two years, she had noticed redness around her nose once again, with increased dryness and a concerning spot above her lip.
After meeting with her dermatologist in May, it was confirmed that the BCC had returned.
"[The doctor] put me on this course of treatment ... it's like topical chemotherapy," she said. "This procedure is for four weeks, and you do it at home."
"You apply a cream in the morning and the evening for four weeks."
"Finding out that diagnosis again was horrendous.
"It was only when I read into and looked into the chemotherapy cream that it hit home – how bad the next couple of weeks are going to be".
Ms Bonass said the cancerous marks on her face began as small, almost invisible spots.
"A crustiness or a scab would appear – that will come up then and it would be up for about a week, or 10 days," she said. "That's when people would notice something."
"After that then the scab would fall off and then it would often bleed. So, that's how I knew that definitely, it was more than just a cold sore."
The treatment Ms Bonass is currently using for her cancer involves applying the cream twice daily, which becomes harsher and more severe on the skin as the weeks progress.
"The first week, it would just be a mild redness, it would sting for a second," she said.
"But by the third week, it got to the stage where your face was raw, and it was a burning sensation, your skin became crusty and hard.
By the fourth week, Ms Bonass said the "crustiness" had come to the forefront of her face.
"It would just be like sandpaper, but you'd still have to apply the cream on.
"My own grandchildren found it extremely hard to look at me."
Ms Bonass said after her four weeks of extreme pain, she has entered into the "healing process".
"My skin is great now, I have very little redness. and I'm doing great and I've got a lot of support," she said.
"Even though my face looked horrendous, I've done a lot of videos of my face at all the different stages because I was really wanting to show people how bad my face could get and send out skin cancer awareness."
The Irish Cancer Society (ICS) Director of Advocacy Rachel Morrow said cases like Ms Bonass' show the importance of prevention tools like sun cream.
"We encourage people to use around 35mls of sunscreen to cover their entire body – that's around the size of a golf ball," she said.
"If you're buying a 200ml bottle of cream, that can cost around €35 a week."
Due to rising pharmaceutical prices, the ICS has called on Government to reduce the VAT rate on suncream from 23% to 0% in the next budget.
"The cost shouldn't be a barrier to cancer prevention, we don't want cancer prevention to be the privilege of those who can afford it."
You can listen back to Ms Bonass' here: