Erin Jackson, from Shilbottle, had visited Alnwick Advance Skin and Laser Clinic, in Bondgate Without, for a £26 eyebrow tint.
She was treated by therapist Rachel Scott and during the procedure, Erin mentioned a small patch of skin on her face was irritating her.
She said she thought it was just a side effect of wearing a face mask but Rachel – who also owns the salon – thought otherwise. As she is studying for a degree in aesthetic practice and spa management, she has learned to spot the early signs of skin cancer and suspected the scaly patch was actually a basal cell carcinoma.
Basal cell cancer is the most common form of skin cancer and although it is rarely fatal, it can be locally aggressive and cause disfigurement.
Erin, 34, therefore sought medical advice and, after Rachel’s suspicions proved correct, is now receiving treatment.
She said: “I’ve never been a massive sun worshipper and I never really used sunbeds when I was younger, so I didn’t think much of it [the skin patch].
"Coming out of a pandemic, I also didn’t want to burden a doctor – I thought it was nothing. But it had changed shape and had started to bleed when I washed my face.
"Rachel insisted on taking a closer look and told me to get it checked out so I did, and it all moved pretty quickly after that. Unfortunately I have to wait five months to have it removed, but at least it will be sorted."
Rachel said: “Erin just thought the scaly patch was down to her mask rubbing her face, but I wasn’t so sure. She therefore had it looked at, had an instant referral and is now getting it removed.
"It’s so important for people in my industry to learn how to spot the signs. Untrained eyes are dangerous, but trained eyes can save lives.”
Advanced skin and laser specialist Rachel, 34, opened her salon in 2019.
She is also an ambassador for Skcin – the Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity which aims to raise awareness of skin cancer through education, promoting prevention and early detection.