Skin Checks on My Mind
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Since young adulthood, I’ve been pretty aware of what good sun habits are. Maybe it was years of baking in the sun as a kid and teen that made me feel like I needed to make up for it.

The first time I decided I needed a skin check was during my work on a sunscreen labeling study at the University of Pennsylvania. I was digesting a lot of information about skin cancer and decided it was important to see a dermatologist. I was told everything looked fine, but I asked them to shave off a mole near my belly button that had changed over the years and one on my back that itched near my bra strap. They both came back benign and then I didn’t think about it much. I continued to use a daily moisturizer with SPF all year long, and also continued to nag my boyfriend to get his skin checked.

Fast-forward five years to my job interview for Health Union where I learned I’d be hired to help launch SkinCancer.net. I was ecstatic and then proceeded to think about the importance of skin checks again. This prompted me to nag the former boyfriend/now husband that it had been 6 years since I asked him to go for his first dermatology visit ever. He finally conceded and ended up needing a pre-cancerous spot on his collar bone excised. Much to my surprise, it looked pretty harmless compared to the areas I had been concerned about for years (one of which turned out to be seborrheic keratosis).

I also had my dermatologist do a skin check for me but was less than satisfied with the thoroughness or lack thereof. I wanted the bottoms of my feet checked (I have 3 moles on my left foot), in between my fingers, my scalp, and more checked. I decided to go again when a colleague recommended her dermatologist and she was much more thorough. It never hurts to get a second opinion. This dermatologist wanted to remove a mole on the side of my stomach (or love handle, if you wish) that was asymmetrical and had a dark spot.

My biopsy for this mole occurred a month ago and I haven’t heard back with results. I’m assuming no news is good news. I’m not concerned but am wondering if it’s normal to not hear back when results are normal.

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