My first visit to a dermatologist was when I was twenty. I have been going in for regular skin exams every two to three years ever since. During my last visit a couple of weeks ago I asked my dermatologist to look more closely at a mole on my chin that had been increasing in size for about 8 years. There was also a new mole right under my right eye that has been growing steadily for less than a year.
Here’s the one right by my eye. it’s much smaller than a match head.
She biopsied* both and sent them to the lab even though she didn’t think there was anything wrong with them.
Here’s my biopsied chin.
And here’s my biopsied eyelid. Stitched with a pretty blue thread to match my eyes.
I get really queasy when confronted with syringes and blood and the piercing and slicing of skin with needles and scalpels. (Agh. Just thinking about it!) Although I have gotten better over the years, there is not much I can do about this phobia and it’s embarrassing more than anything else. I turn white as a sheet and doctors usually order me not to move while they run to find some juice or a piece of candy to revive me. Preparing myself mentally helps, breathing helps, giving myself Reiki helps. I had mentally prepared myself for these biopsies and all went well until the doctor decided that the incision on my eyelid needed stitching, for esthetic reasons. Without ‘preparation’ the thought of a needle this close to my eye was just pfff awful. After the procedure the nurse tilted my chair to a 45º angle so that the blood could flow back to my head. She tried to reassure me that many patients feel similarly faint. I was mortified.
I know not everyone goes in for skin checkups regularly, but you should really consider it. The sooner irregularities are found, the easier they are to treat. Your dermatologist should check your armpits, your derrière, your scalp, between your toes, etc. Change doctors if you feel your exam isn’t thorough enough.
Go here for results.
photo credits: husband (thank you…)
*Some dictionaries do not accept biopsy as a verb, and some do. I have decided to embrace it as a verb, as many people do. As my linguistic professor used to say: if natives speakers say it, it is not wrong.