I’m going to ask you to do me a favor by the end of this summer. It’s a simple request that will definitely give you peace of mind. All you have to do is make an appointment with a local dermatologist and get a full body scan.
Based upon my conversations with family members, friends, co-workers, and the very informal survey I conducted with the Fairfield County Moms Blog contributors, I am going to hypothesize that more than 50% of you already get your skin checked once a year. For those of you who do go, it’s probably because you spotted something that alarmed you or you’ve already had a long-standing relationship with your dermatologist. If you are one of those readers, I am electronically high fiving you and hoping you will convince at least one person to follow our lead!
If you have yet to get your skin checked, you may be thinking that everything on your skin is normal. But I know all too well that there are areas on your body that you either overlook or physically cannot check yourself.
I started getting annual body scans about 15 years ago, at the request of my aunt. As I hugged her goodbye, she spotted something on my scalp. She immediately went into doctor mode, expressing her concerns about the suspicious dark coloring of a mole. She insisted that I see my dermatologist before returning to college the following week. I somehow managed to make an appointment during the end of that Thanksgiving break, and thankfully, the pre-cancerous mole was caught in time. A few weeks later, I had it removed at the university hospital.
After the quick surgery, I remember sitting in my sorority house and finding out that a handful of my sisters had also had something suspicious removed from their skin. When I surveyed the FCMB team, I discovered that about 30% of them have had at least one removal. The removals have spanned all parts of the body with the face, back, and legs being the most common.
Check, Detect, Prevent
I (and a couple of the other contributors) have had multiple removals. Please know that I am not trying to scare you! Only two of my 15 years of annual body scans have resulted in biopsies and subsequent out-patient surgical removals. Only three of my dozens upon dozens of moles turned out to be atypical. I am not scared of the sun, and I protect myself as much as I can while in it, but I am realistic about how easily skin cancer may develop and how easily it can be prevented.
Thus, I beg you to please schedule an appointment with a local dermatologist to make sure that your spots are just beauty marks that give you character. As my own mother says time and time again, “Better safe than sorry!”
Here’s a round-up of some local dermatologists the FCMB team trusts and recommends:
- Dr. Pesce in Bridgeport
- Dr. Smith in Fairfield
- Dr. Klein in Norwalk
- Dr. Godwin in Norwalk and Shelton
- Dermatology Center of Stamford (Dr. Pruzan and Dr. Marsh)
- Dr. Evans in Stamford
- Dr. Gettler in Stamford
- Dr. Wilder in Trumbull and Westport