I recently had my yearly visit to the dermatologist. I go once a year because I have very fair skin and living in Australia puts me in the high risk category for skin cancer. Every dermatologist I have seen has told me similar thing. I should be living in Scotland, England, Norway or Alaska.
Some of you may think why do I use a dermatologist instead of just going to a skin cancer clinic? It is a personal decision for everyone. I feel it necessary due to the fairness of my skin that I see a specialist.
Getting checked regardless of skin colour is the most important message.
I had my first treatment to remove sun spots (solar keratosis) at age 19. Usually they are frozen with liquid nitrogen if you get it diagnosed early. I had so many on the back of my neck that freezing them all was not really an option. This is due to the blisters caused by this treatment and also the possible scarring. The scar is usually a white spot.
Instead I was prescribed with a cream which does the same job. The difference is that it allows a large area to be treated without the scarring. The cream takes longer and can get very uncomfortable. However since I have had to use it to treat my face the no scar benefit alone makes it worthwhile.
I am now 32 and once again need to redo the back of my neck to clear the sun spots. This time I have been advised to apply the cream differently. I’ll let you know how this goes since it is supposed to reduce the soreness. I will probably have to this every 5 years as I age and the damage caused earlier in life comes to the surface.
During my visit I learnt a few things that I think would be worthwhile to share:
I know we have all the seen the ads about skin cells in trauma. But have you taken note of the message? I know I hadn’t because it just seemed like the Government was nagging me instead of my Mum.
Even when the Dermatologist was giving advice it took a great deal to stop myself from rolling my eyes. I had heard it all before but for some reason whilst driving home it I started thinking about it from a different perspective.
Instead of being annoyed at yet another lecture, I allowed the message to sink in. I will probably need reminding again in the future because lazy habits are hard to break.
I too may now have come across as nagging. But I don’t care because if one person is reminded to go and get checked then I can live with it.
Getting older is an interesting thing. We've been brainwashed to fear the slightest changes in our complexions: a wrinkle here, a laugh line there, a smattering of sun spots.
And yet with age comes sooooo much good stuff: wisdom, comfort in your own skin, and the oh-so-coveted ability to give fewer damns. If you ask us, that sounds pretty great.