PSA: Moles

Hiya eaters!

How are you doing today?

I’m in a little pain and pretty doped up.

Why, you ask?

Because today I got a couple of big moles hacked off.

See this giant and slightly unappealing one on my hip?

My undies have bikes on them.

Well, thanks to a very capable plastic surgeon and plenty of lidocaine, it’s gone now.

There are stitches under there.

As is the scar and surrounding tissue from a mole I had removed earlier this summer that came back with a funky pathology report.

There are stitches under there, too.

And I wish I could say these were purely vanity-driven removals, but they’re not.

Skin cancer runs in my family, so I regularly visit a very thorough and wonderful, though slightly scary dermatologist to get moles measured and removed. It’s not a fun process, but it’s important. It’s extra important because my pathology reports keep coming back atypical (which means it’s not cancerous, but it’s not all clear, either).

So my first PSA of the day to you is this:

Check your moles and check them often.

The best way to determine if a mole is potentially problematic is by applying the ABCDE of good mole health:

Is your mole Asymmetrical?

Does you mole have undefined Boarders?

Does your mole have more than one Color or has it changed in Color?

Is the Diameter bigger than that of a pencil eraser?

And has your mole Evolved, or grown, in size?

If you said “yes” to any of these, then it’s best to have your mole checked by a dermatologist.

Also, by the time you’re about 20 years old your moles should be the way they’ll be for the rest of your life. So any changes or new moles that occur after about the age of 20 could be cause for concern.

I scheduled my last full body mole check after I consulted a couple of not too old Facebook photos and realized that these two moles on my stomach weren’t there a year and a half ago, and that the bottom mole wasn’t around even a year ago.

My belly button is massive.

My dermatologist is mildly concerned about those (and 7 on my calves!), so I have a follow up appointment at the end of the summer to get them all remeasured. Any signs of growth and they’re gone.

This brings my to my second PSA of the day:

Take nude (or bathing suit) pictures of yourself every year or so.

Now I’m not saying that you should post these on the interwebs or send them to everyone in your phone, but they’re handy to have around. You won’t remember what each and every mole looks like and how long some of your moles have been around. Having this very easy reference tool will help you identify any new moles that may have appeared or if any existing moles have violated the ABCDEs.

I’m not trying to scare you. But skin cancer is one of the most, if not the most, easily prevented and treated (if caught early enough) forms of cancer, so it’s stupid not to take the time to take a few pictures, check a few moles, and make an appointment with a dermatologist if need be.

Oh, and where sunscreen. Actually sunscreen. That SPF 12 Panama Jack crap doesn’t count.

Okay, PSAs over.

Your turn, eaters:

When was the last time you had your moles checked?

When’s the next time you’re going to check your moles?

G’night eaters!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Because it’s been a week since I got all stitched up. [...]

  2. [...] (If you missed all the stitches and mole talk, please check out my post: PSA: Moles.) [...]

  3. [...] from a last minute doctor visit (because my leg stitches/wound is healing weird), this weekend has been [...]

  4. [...] because I was hobbling around (and putting all my weight on my bad side) for days after getting another chunk cut out of my leg (which I also didn’t rest enough [...]

  5. [...] Last time I talked about skin health I think I told you to take nudies. Not for sexting purposes, mind you, but so you can see if new moles are developing. [...]

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