Monday, November 12, 2012

Dermatology For Dummies: Six Months

This past April I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, the most mild form of skin cancer. The news changed the way I take care of my skin and marked the beginning of a life long relationship with a good dermatologist.

A topical treatment effectively erased the basal cell, but one of the facts I learned from my diagnosis is that my risk another basal cell occurrence within the first year is at least 80%. My doctor explained that because of this risk, a supplementary screening six months after the original diagnosis is recommended for the portion of your body affected -- either upper or lower. My basal cell was on my shoulder, so today I went in for a six month upper body check.

The first thing my doctor asked me was if I noticed any differences since my last visit. In fact, I had developed two new red spots on my face that concerned me. They looked like acne when they first popped up but have never healed even after a couple of months.

I won't lie. I was a little more than concerned. I was worried they were the start of more basal cells and I wasn't looking forward to having biopsy stitches on my face just in time for a holiday full of visits with family and friends. Luckily, my doctor confirmed they are only a form of acne, just a more stubborn one often seen in women and closely associated with hormone production. One more reason being a girl isn't always fun....

On the plus side, the spot where my basal cell was removed is looking better every day and I got a clean bill of dermatological health until my annual full body screening next April. Great news to start the week indeed!

Now if I can just get rid of my dry skin I'll be golden. Every time I itch I feel winter coming closer...

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