Tag Archive | dermatologist

The Skin I Live In

blur-body-care-161608Every so often I like to remind my readers to take care of their skin. Since I went for my annual full body scan this morning, today seemed like a good day for that reminder!

Several years ago, a group of women I worked with and I decided that we needed to go for a skin exam. We had seen an advertisement for free exams at a facility about 30 minutes or so from work and we all signed up. During that exam, an “atypical” mole was identified and it was suggested that I see a dermatologist for follow up. The suspect mole was ultimately removed without any issue, and thus began my commitment to annual full body scan. I never miss it.

Let’s face it, we’ve all done some stupid stuff — hot sun, no hat, no sunscreen, or worse yet, application of baby oil. I’ve had some super painful burns in my past and, given my cancer history, I think it’s prudent to get checked regularly. Even if you don’t have a history of cancer, it’s a smart move.

We all know that we should have our skin checked if we see a change in size, shape or color of a mole. But there are many parts we can’t see by ourselves! My problem mole was on the lower middle of my back; I would never have seen it on my own. And just because you may have burned your scalp, as an example, it doesn’t mean that’s where skin cancer would appear. It can show up anywhere. I have have peace of mind knowing that I was checked by a professional who knows what she’s looking for.

Today I learned that I should look at my toenails before reapplying polish. Not for the discoloration that may come from applying nail polish too often and without break, but to look for any spots that might show up under the nail! I would never have thought to look there. So next time you go for that pedi… take a look!

Another great suggestion I had heard previously (but have yet to implement…my bad…) is to have your spouse, best friend, significant other, mother… someone… take a picture of your back every six months and compare to the prior for any changes that might need a closer look.

If you don’t have insurance or don’t want to pay a co-payment, you can look for free screenings like my co-workers and I did all those years ago. Check out: https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/programs/screenings/find-a-screening

In the meantime, take care of your skin! It’s the only one you have to live in.

IMDb: The Skin I Live In (2011)

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In Their Skin

It’s a good idea to have your skin checked every now and then, especially if you have any history of abnormal moles, as I do. This morning I was off to an early appointment with the dermatologist for my annual full body scan. I do try to carefully watch all of my moles, looking for any changes. I am always considering color, size, symmetry, shape…but it’s hard to look everywhere.  So I’m glad to have a professional check my skin out once a year. I’m happy to report everything looked normal today.

Out of the blue, my dermatologist started asking me if I had done any diet changes due to my cancer history. We embarked on a lengthy conversation about whole food plant based diets. Apparently her two children are vegan and she was thrilled to hear what I was doing. It’s always nice to have a conversation with someone in the health care profession who is open to this lifestyle as a way to improve health.

In addition to my appointment, I had also had made an appointment for my dad. He had a non-melanoma skin cancer back in 2006 and hasn’t been back for a follow up since right after her surgical procedure. He’s had this “new” spot on his nose for some time now, and it keeps opening up. I figured he was overdue to have it checked.

And Dad was just thrilled to be there. He’s not one to go to the doctor and certainly doesn’t like a fuss, so he was a little annoyed with the whole thing. When the doctor asked him what was bothering him, he answered “nothing is bothering me, but it’s bothering everybody else.” The doctor noticed the spot on his nose right away and indicated he needed to do a biopsy.  No surprise here.

The doc indicated that the shot of Novacaine would hurt (a lot), but Dad didn’t even flinch. The biopsy was over in no time, and the doctor said he suspected that it would turn out to be cancerous. We should have results back next week.

He then asked Dad if “there was anything else”. Dad said no, but I mentioned some spots on his ears and sides of his face. Sure enough, precancerous cells were spotted. The doctor promptly froze them off with what looked like a can of WD-40.  Again, Dad didn’t even flinch. (He did mention later that it was really cold…) In the end, it was good we went, but it’s likely he will need a procedure to remove the cancer. Stay tuned.

*****

New recipe: McDougall’s Quick & Easy Cookbook – Artichoke Pasta Sauce. It was (surprise) quick and easy, and I enjoyed the tangy flavor. I do love artichokes, so this was an easy sauce over pasta. I didn’t use the whole bell pepper, since I’m not a fan of green peppers, but a little bit was fine. Over multi-grain penne pasta. Yum!

*****

IMDb: In Their Skin (2012)

Skin Deep

This morning started with an early appointment at the dermatologist.  I do go annually, and have been going for years, just to be safe.  As someone with fair skin and several bad sunburns from the stupidity of youth, I think it is prudent action.  I have had 2 “suspicious looking” moles removed in the past, and given my recent history, it seems more important than ever.  There was one mole that I specifically asked about since it was not symmetrical.  The PA was willing to remove it for me, just to give me peace of mind, but really felt it was just something we should measure and watch.  I opted for the latter;  I don’t want to become completely paranoid about cancer at every turn (although that is really easy to do).

Following is a guide for watching your own moles; it’s important to check your skin regularly and to especially report any changes in shape, color, etc.

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307251_last,00.html

Overall, the PA said I earned an “A+” today; my skin looked great!

Having taken today off from work, after the dermatologist, Ethan, my two nieces, and I went to play some mini-golf before it got too hot.  (Not to gloat, but I did win!)  🙂  We followed that by a much needed trip to Everything Natural to pick up some natural toothpaste, shampoo, etc. and lunch at Red Robin.  Before you berate me for this seemingly poor choice of restaurants, you will be happy to know that Red Robin actually has hummus on the menu!  It was an appetizer, but it came with grilled squash, jicama, carrots, cucumbers and grilled foccacia triangles.  I couldn’t eat the whole thing, but I was pleasantly surprised by the healthy option!  (The rest of the crew did enjoy some big juicy burgers!)

For the record, this was my first taste of jicama… the jury’s still out.  It was a bit bland and the texture was odd, but it is supposed to have some nutritional value, so maybe I’ll try it again at some point…

Something new for juicing tonight… we added wheatgrass, which is supposed to be really good for you (see attached link).  We could taste a bit of a difference in the juice, but I do think we needed to blend this gentle grass on a lower speed for maximum benefits.  Ethan tends to juice everything on high speed!

http://www.hippocratesinst.org/wheatgrass/benefits-of-wheatgrass

Tomorrow I’m off for a visit with my oncologist.  Always something to look forward to!