Fearing the Dermatologist

Hi there friends!

I’m so happy to have made it past Monday, I don’t know about you, but yesterday kind of drrragggedd on. I swear the clock was barely moving. But at least it was a pretty stress free day & I did get a lot done, so it wasn’t that bad. 🙂

Today’s post is kind of a Public Service Announcement, if you will.
Last week I had an appointment at the dermatologist. I had been kind of delaying making an appointment, first is was’ I’ll wait until after the wedding’, then it was ‘this week is SUPER busy- no time for a doctor’s appointment,’ and of course my favorite one (TOTAL sarcasm) ‘what if they find a ton of things wrong with me?’.

It’s pretty sad, but at 24 years old, the dermatologist freaks me out the MOST of any doctor. I always think that I will have a sun spots/ freckles/ moles that will need to be removed. The thing that scares me the MOST is the thought of possibly having melanoma. Why does it freak me out so much? I think that might be an easy answer, but it’s because I feel like so many people forget out doing routine skin checks, myself included.

Let’s start with the bad news about it: (Bad news first, then good news- end on a good note 🙂 )
-it’s the most dangerous type of skin cancer
-it is the leading cause of death of all skin diseases
-it can spread very rapidly (<–one of the things that freaks me out the most)
-people with fair skin, blue or green eyes & blonde or red hair have increased risk

Now the GOOD news:
-If caught early, some melanomas can be cured.
-Monthly self exams can help catch any new moles/freckles or changes in moles/ freckles which can be looked at by a doctor- the sooner the better
-Apply sunblock of at LEAST 30 SPF every.single.day. EVEN in the winter.

See, there is GOOD news to all of this! The key is the SOONER THE BETTER.

Now another reason that I am so freaked out about going to the dermatologist, is that I have a history with this thing:

I can honestly tell you that this is the only part of my life that I wish I could go back & change. Of course I had other kind of ‘down’ parts in my life, but the thing that scares me the most was the relationship with that guy above. Eek!

I used to be a HUGE tanner. Like nearly every other day for a year. I know, it is HORRIBLE. Really horrible. Like I said, I only WISH I could change it.

One of my first college jobs was a marketing director for a tanning company. This meant that I got free tanning sessions whenever I wanted. Not just free tanning, but free tanning in the ‘superior beds,’ which looking back now were probably the worst beds. (I really don’t know if they are, I’m just guessing) I thought it was awesome! Tanning memberships can be expensive, and I was getting it all for FREE. Best deal ever, right?! Ya, maybe if I wanted to die of skin cancer later in life.

So needless to say when I went to the dermatologist last week I was a nervous wreck. My hands were all sweaty, my heart rate was sky high, and I was just really scared. Thankfully the doctor was awesome! I told the nurse when I first walked in why I was there (full body scan + a spot that I was worried about) & she had me change into a gown.
<–stylish, no?! 😉

Once the doctor came in I told him that I was SUPER nervous. (I’m sure he probably could have known by the look on my face) He told me not to worry that he was just going to check over my whole body (with the nurse there) and then if there was anything to worry about, he would let me know.

The exam went quick- maybe 4 minutes MAX. Once it was time to discuss what he found, I swear my stomach dropped.

Guess what?! I was CLEAR. Yes, really, CLEAR. 😀 The only thing that he wanted to remove was the spot that I was worried about. (it wasn’t a mole, just kind of a little ball of skin- not painful, didn’t bleed; just in a weird spot & I wanted it gone.)

I thought that they would schedule me to come back to have the spot removed, but nope they handed me a sheet of paper to sign, and he did it right then & there. You should have seen my face when they told me that they were going to remove it immediately -I was like WHAT?! Is there a needle involved? There was a needle, to numb the spot, and he came in to take it off & before I realized what was going on the spot was OFF. I had no idea. It didn’t hurt AT ALL. Ok, maybe like a teeny tiny mosquito bite, that’s IT.

I was SO SO SO relieved. I swear I felt like a thousand pound weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I also had my normal ‘spot’ checked out, just to make sure he said it was ok. I have had it checked before, but I always like to make sure that it’s still ok.

I’ve had the birth mark my entire life,it’s on my right wrist. It’s actually how I learned my right & left- my Dad would tell me that ‘right’ was the arm with the birth mark. 🙂 & another funny thing about it is that Craig calls it my ‘dirt wrist.’ He’s a sweetheart, right?! 😉

I always make sure to get it checked, even though it’s never been an issue. The size has never changed, and the raised bumps in the middle are inside of the birth mark, rather than on the edges or outside of it.

The whole point of this post is the tell you to PLEASE go get checked at the dermatologist. Don’t be scared! It is better to caught something EARLY rather than when it’s too late. If caught early enough it can be CURED.

Most of the information listed above about Melanoma was found HERE. For more information & for tips on how to spot melanoma or how to prevent melanoma please click HERE.

I hope you have a great day! Please don’t let this post freak you out, but instead make a dermatologist appointment TODAY.

If you are looking for a dermatologist in Orlando/ Longwood/ Altamonte Springs or surrounding areas- I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Michael Henner. He is AWESOME!!

Questions for you:
1. Do you get yearly check ups at the dermatologist? I will now have an appointment for a full body exam each year, I will NOT let fear get the best of me.
2. Have you ever had anything removed from your body that they thought might be skin cancer?
3. Does the dermatologist scare you?

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12 Comments

  1. Good for you for being proactive with your skin! I need to go to the dermatologist, I have not been in over a year.

    I’ve had one mole removed when I was little and I’ve also had a cyst removed. Not fun, but if that’s what I gotta do for my health then I’m OK with it!

    Reply
  2. omy gosh nobody talks about tanning on blogs, but I can completely relate. I worked at different tanning salons in high school and all through college. It was great because I could do school work but it was bad because I could tan for free. Luckily, I did not use it all the time and would only use it to keep a base tan through the winter… but still… BAD!

    Reply
  3. MT

     /  August 16, 2011

    This is to weird, I just had my first every appointment last Monday and was FREAKED out. Started crying and almost threw up on the way to the appointment. I was a complete basketcase becuase I was so scared they’d find something (my great grandfather had melanoma on his face pretty bad). I didn’t have to have anything removed but they took pictures of two freckles/moles and are having me come back every year. Prevention and being pro-active really is a good idea. Thanks for posting this!

    Reply
  4. Yay I’m glad you came back all clear! I need to go get checked by the derm. I have a lot of moles so that kind of worries me sometimes!

    Reply
  5. Good for you for going & getting this checked out! Glad you’re all clear!!

    Reply
  6. Wow…honestly I never even think about the dermatogoligist. I don’t think I have been since I was a kid getting warts removed from my knees. (lovely huh?) Guess I should look into that sooner than later. Glad you were all clear!

    Reply
  7. Yay for being clear!

    I have never had a scare, and I’m lucky because I tanned pretty heavily in tanning beds from 14-22 yrs old.

    My hubby has had several moles removed and more look suspicious..oye

    Reply
  8. UUGGHH i really, really need to get a dermatologist appointment. badly. I have more and more moles/freckles popping up every day, and I’m getting nervous…

    Reply
  9. This is also a really big fear of mine, so you’re not alone! My dad actually had melanoma and my mom had some sort of cancerous skin thing on her nose removed. I used to love the tanning bed too, but now I know that I need to be cautious. Everyone really should be!

    Reply
    • I’m so sorry to hear that your dad had melanoma- that’s scary. You should definitely get checked out- I know that if one of your parents had a skin issue then you are more likely to have the same thing. Better to be overly cautious!! 🙂

      Reply
  10. I have never been to the dermatologist but I am very freckly/mole-y so I should probably go to one soon!

    Reply

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