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Take care of your skin!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Last week I noticed that a spot on my forehead had gotten a little darker. I called my dermatologist the following day to have it checked out. Turns out it was just a sun spot. She froze it off -- no big deal. I asked her to check a mole on my neck and she said it was fine. I suggested that she check my back and when I lifted up my shirt she saw a mole that she wanted to remove. To be honest with you, I had no idea it was even there. How bad is that? She also checked my entire body {even between my toes}. Everything else looked good.

 
The mole was removed and sent to pathology. I received a call today and it turns out that the whole thing has to be removed. It is a moderately to severe atypical mole but is not cancerous so I feel very fortunate. I will have it cut out and will have stitches for two weeks. Not the end of the world.

After talking to a friend who happens to be a dermatologist, I am feeling much better. Thanks, Annie! If you do not happen to have a dermatologist friend, find a doctor who will give you lots of info. I felt like mine was not very helpful at all. The nurse called, threw out some very technical terms and said to have it removed. I heard "moderate to severe" and was left with shaky hands + thoughts of cancer. Thanks, lady.

My reason for writing this post is to remind you to know your body, apply sun screen and take care of your skin! Look for changes and please see your dermatologist annually. The thing I didn't even know existed was what needed to be removed.

As sensitive as I am, there are times I will go for a walk in the sun or out to lunch and will not apply sunscreen. I do not lay out, do not go to tanning salons and tend to avoid the sun. 15-20 min of sun exposure & I'm a little pink. I had a pretty bad burn just last month. This was definitely a wake up call! If you are going to be in the sun, apply sunscreen!
Let my wake up call be your reminder to see a dermatologist!
When was the last time you had your skin checked?

+ PLEASE watch this video.

images via 1. 2

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36 comments

  1. My parents both had skin cancer so this is a great reminder to all!

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  2. I am so glad that your mole was not cancerous and that you are taking care of the skin. I wear so much sunscreen that my husband always makes fun of me, but it's so important. Great post.

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  3. Thanks for this post. Just reminded me how I need to make an appt to get my skin checked out. :) Glad everything turned out ok!
    xoxo
    -linh
    http://la-lalinh.blogspot.com

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  4. thanks so much for sharing this.

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  5. Soo important. I just went a few months ago to have all my freckles and moles checked !! Glad everything is ok with you.

    xxLily
    goldandgray.com

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  6. Thanks for sharing this. My sister had skin cancer when she was 21 and since that time, we all use sunscreen regularly, reapply it regularly, and check our body for any changes in moles or our skin. I go to the dermatologist every year (next appt is at the end of the month). Skin cancer can be a silent killer, especially if you don't know what you are looking for. I'm glad your mole wasn't cancerous.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this, I am so glad you are ok! Its a good reminder for us all

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  8. just commented on your other blog, whoopsie! anyways totally linking this post to mine tomorrow. xo jillian

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  9. So glad that your mole wasn't cancerous and I couldn't agree with you more. I'm olive skinned and don't burn easily but I've given up being out in the sun. Namely sunbathing. It's just not worth it anymore! So now I'm obsessed with sunscreen and I'm embracing my paste :)

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  10. so so grateful you're cancer-free...and took your friend's advice to have it checked out. I had a melanoma in July 2008 and it was one of the scariest things I've ever experienced. {Here's my post about it!} It just means we'll have much prettier skin when we're older...since we're going to be skin-cautious now! lots of thankful prayers going out for you today! xoxo {av}

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  11. my mom always wears hats and uses umbrellas, and she still got sun cancer! After she had it removed I had her use Clinique's Repairwear serum to help with the scaring.

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  12. Glad there was no cancer! Thanks for sharing! I need to have a check up with the dermatologist!

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  13. This is a great post and thanks for sharing. I used to like laying out here and there, but no more. I rarely leave the house without 700 different kinds of spf and, as much as I love the sun, limit exposure.

    I mean what on earth is going on when you can get a tan through your car window? No thanks!

    xo,
    C

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  14. How good of you to write this post. You are absolutely right. I had a similar experience twice and after that never treated my body the same against sun. I always use sunscreen SPF 30 and don't sunbath much. Hope the message will go through to all your readers!

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  15. So glad this was nothing serious. And I needed to read this, I'm so bad about this!!!

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  16. Just glad you are ok, lady! I sometimes fall of the SPF wagon and that's no good!

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  17. I used to work for a dermatologist so I try to go every year for a full skin exam. THANK YOU for the reminder! I appreciate spreading the awareness.

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  18. Thanks for this post! I needed a reminder to check a mole checked too:)

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  19. Thanks for posting such an important message! I had a flesh colored spot appear under my right eye this past winter and it turned out to be cancerous. The surgery, stitches, and scar were tramautic - especially since it was my face that I was dealing with. Luckily, I had a wonderful plastic surgeon and the scar is barely noticable now, but it was definitely a wake-up call to take better care of my skin and to not leave the house without sunscreen! Great post!! xo

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  20. Thanks for the reminder girl. It's true, we hardly take care of the simpliest thing. Applying sunscreen is sometimes something we just forget and it's sooooooo important. And yes, I have to admit I need to make an appointment, though they will give me an appointment for maybe October or so, unless it is super urgent. :(

    Great post! Really!!!

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  21. That's a tad scary...glad you are OK! Being a super pale gal I have to wear sunscreen all the time if I don't want a perma sunburn, but there are times when I am not planning on being outside and I find myself SPF-less and I get all worried. I've got a great Derm that keeps his eye out for anything odd looking though, thank goodness!

    My guy is black & shaves his head daily so he's got no protection from the sun and I cannot convince him to put sunscreen on his dome when we are outside. I am always worrying about him getting skin cancer or something. I'll just have to keep pestering him...and make him read your post. ☺ Thanks for writing it!

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  22. YES YES YES!! I have been working on a post for a few weeks about this same thing! It's so scary because my aunt died from melanoma. I have an appointment to see a dermatologist and was going to post it after I went. Thank you for posting this!! Loved the video too.

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  23. I'm glad that you are in good health, and thanks for sharing this. I hate when people ask if I need to apply sunscreen because I'm black! It's like Duh-the sun is still harmful regardless of your skin color!

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  24. Is your dermatologist in Chicago or back home? I'm looking for one in the area to check out a mole on my neck.

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  25. Good post about getting checked out! It's important to remember that our bodies NEED vitamin D though and the best kind can only be made through sun exposure. Just moderate, nothing crazy. Also, there's been research that the primary ingredients in most sunscreens are not good for us and may be carcinogenic. Try to use more natural sunscreens for safe protection. Dr Mercola makes some good stuff.

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  26. S - emailed you. The one removing my mole in chi does surgical stuff so I'll find out who is great in that office (which came highly recommended!).

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  27. glad you got good news. I read someplace that if you have 30 moles on your body, you should see a derma. I have 30 moles in abou one sq inch of my arm. I am covered.. lol freckles.. and moles and more and more. I do put suncscreen on my face, but I admit I like a tan, so I only wear 15 when I am going to be out for along time or at the pool with the kids. I have had several removed and it hasn't been anything. it is always the ones that I am concerned about that the derma doesn't think is a big deal. and of course the ones that I think are no biggie are what he cuts out! lol I get checked once a year.

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  28. i'm glad it's not cancerous and that you got it taken care of!

    great post and a wonderful reminder (though i'm really bad at applying sunscreen i do know every mole on my body and the size...)

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  29. D...this is such an important message. So glad it is not cancerous but this just reminds us all how important taking care of our skin is. Thank you for this!!! xoxo

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  30. Thanks so much for sharing girly, So glad the results were good. I need to make an appointment:)

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  31. I had a mole removed two years ago that was potentially pre-cancerous. It wasn't even the mole I was concerned about! I go every year to get my skin checked out, I'm so pale and have had sunburns so it's too much of a risk not to!

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  32. I've had about 20 removed and 3 'dug' out (gross) where they came back a typical and they even had to go back (ugh) and get more of the 'margins'- not fun AT ALL but felt so fortunate that they were not cancerous. I get checked TWICE a year now at 36 years old. I'm AVID with sunscreen now. xoxo shel

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  33. So glad you got good news, and thanks for the reminder to visit the specialists!

    I must say though, I do agree with what Rebecca said above. It's important to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays, but we have to remember that our skin turning pink is our body's way of telling us that we need to seek out shade and get out of the sun. Sometimes, I think the constant application of sunscreen can do more harm than good, as it prevents your body from naturally manufacturing vitamin D, exposes you to a plethora of synthetic chemicals (many of which have been linked to all sorts of other problems -- including, ironically, cancer), and often encourages people to stay out in the sun longer than they should because they have a false sense of being 'protected.' I've been reading a lot about natural sunscreens and am going to try Josie Maran's SPF 30 sunscreen this summer. It has lots of natural oils and titanium dioxide, which is a physical rather than chemical sunscreen!

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  34. So great that you were smart and went to see the dermatologist and had your whole body checked....THEN blogged about it to encourage others!! Way to go!! I just found you blog and I am so excited to follow it and read more of your posts.

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  35. so thankful yours wasn't cancer. it's good to check regularly.
    i have a friend who almost left her yearly checkout and was about to leave when the dr said oh wait… the bottoms of your feet! she had a small eraser size mole that didn't even look that funny, but the path report came back melanoma.
    once she had surgery… it looked like she had been eaten by a shark. they took ridiculous margins!! tissue graft from her groin (GAH!!) and she's now walking and hiking fine. but sheesh!
    bob marley had a tiny spot under his toenail. it ended up killing him.
    thanks for bringing awareness to skin!!

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  36. I just had my first whole body mole check today, and had an atypical mole removed from my back as well. Now I sit and wait, and hope the results come back fine sometime in the next two weeks. Fingers crossed!

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