My face is falling off a year after freak fire dancing accident saw it go up in flames – The Sun

A YEAR ago, Sophie Lee was left scarred for life by a freak fire dancing accident – which saw her face go up in flames.

Now she's revealed her face is falling off, after a groundbreaking op to freeze the keloid scars off, because the facial tumours threatened to engulf her face.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, the 23-year-old Instagram model, from Darwen, Lancs, said her skin has been "slowly dying" since having surgery on March 28.

Sophie was left burnt when an aircon unit blew fire back into her face during a performance in Chicago, USA, in April last year.

She told us: "Keloid scarring is a form of benign tumour, it was going to carry on growing and slowly overtake my face.

"It was very painful and becoming a big burden. I had started to lose movement on my neck, because it was growing so rapidly.

"The scars got so big you couldn't see my neck, it came down to my chin.

"Because of my ethnicity, being Chinese, it was really angry and violent.

"The longer I left it, the bigger the keloids would have got. I was in so much pain and it was starting to alter my expressions on my face."

It was going to carry on growing and slowly overtake my face

Sophie had NHS-funded cryosurgery – an op to freeze the scars off her face – back in March.

Cryosurgery normally costs anywhere between £175 and £2,445 for a single treatment.

But Sophie's four-and-a-half hour op was a complicated one, because of the amount of scarring and being on her face, and may have cost a lot more.

After her surgery, Sophie was kept in hospital for a week and could barely leave her house for another month, as the keloids slowly peeled off her face.

She said: "The scar started to die and then my face basically fell off. Liquid nitrogen was pumped in to kill it.

"At first it went massive, like it had been pumped up with water. It tripled in size, it was horrendous.

"Then it just started leaking liquid nitrogen.  Over the space of two months, it was starting to dry out and peel away.

"It was horrendous, the skin was dying and it was on my face. I couldn’t really move my neck, it was just so painful.

"When it actually detaches I couldn't feel anything, because it’s already died.

It was horrendous, the skin was dying and it was on my face. I couldn’t really move my neck, it was just so painful

"But at the start it was really raw, fresh, skin. Showering was unbearable.

"For a good month I couldn’t really do anything. I had to change the dressings at least twice a day – they were soaking wet all the time.

"I couldn’t leave the house because I had to take so many dressings and pads with me."

What is cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is the process of removing skin lesions by freezing, normally with liquid nitrogen.

It is normally used to remove areas of sun-damaged skin, warts and benign lesions – as well as occasionally small skin cancers.

In simpler procedures, the NHS reckon the pain will settle within three days and scabs should peel off within five to 10 days on the face.

The op can leave a white pigmentation mark or scar, which is especially noticeable in those with dark complexions.

Further treatment may be needed to clear the rest of the lesion, or if it comes back at a later date.

Keloids are benign tumours which grow in areas of trauma – caused by an over production of collagen – and are more common in people with olive, black or Oriental skin.

After her accident, in April 2018, Sophie thought her skin was healing well – until keloids starting growing where she had been burnt.

She's always been honest about her journey with her 63,500 Instagram followers – but recent pics show Sophie covering her scars under a black mask.

She admitted: "I try not to think negatively, but I am in pain and you do think ‘when is this going to be over?’ I'm constantly suffering.

"Even now I can’t go outside when it’s sunny without having to cover up my whole face, because it’s fresh skin and I’ll get burnt really fast.

I am in pain and you do think ‘when is this going to be over?’ I'm constantly suffering

"I don't want to risk getting burnt, it's not worth it. I'm still healing.

"But I am in the best hands and it’s important to talk about the good and the bad, because that means I can help others in this situation.

"I’m a normal person, I have feelings, I’m not just living this amazing life. I do have my down days, and it’s OK to feel like that."

What are keloid scars?

A keloid is a thick, lumpy scar which grows in the place of a wound which has healed.

They're more common in people with dark skin, particularly of African, Caribbean and Asian heritage.

Keloids are caused by an over-production of collagen and are not contagious or cancerous.

Keloids can be painful, itchy and limit movement.

You're most at risk between the ages of 10 and 30.

Keloids can be treated with:

  • Steroid injections
  • Silicone gel sheeting
  • Freezing with liquid nitrogen
  • Laser treatment (to reduce redness only)
  • Surgery and radiotherapy

Fearing her keloids were taking over, Sophie started looking into cryosurgery earlier this year.

She said: "I didn't want to get it lasered because I was worried about getting burnt again.

"Because of my ethnicity, and where the scar is, I became a case study.

"I was so nervous but also honoured because it means I'm able to help other people and change medicine.

"It would have cost me thousands without NHS help. I was extremely lucky.

"I’ve not thought about what would have happened otherwise, I’m just glad I was allowed."

Sophie is due for a second op in September, to remove the rest of the tumour, but there's no guarantee the keloids will be gone for good.

She said: "They don’t know whether it will grow back, it’s a waiting game to see how my skin reacts."

In more beauty news, this Fabulous writer tried the £450 foreskin facial Sandra Bullock and Kate Beckinsale love.

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