A few months ago, a small white spot appeared on my cheek. Great, another zit, I thought. However, it never got hard and sore and just stayed there looking white and flat and pretty noticeable (at least to me). I decided that I would have my doctor look at it at my next physical (scheduled for later this month). Then I saw that the local hosptial was having a free Skin Cancer Screening so I thought I would go because I have never been to a dermatologist (I just suffered with acne alone as a teen, fighting it with my Oxy-5). Oh, and I also have rosacea and my PCP prescribed some topical antibiotic ointment for it last year.
Anyway, I walked out of the Skin Cancer screening with a recommendation to see a dermatologist about the spot on my face and a couple of moles that were darker than the rest. Spy recommended her dermatologist to me and I got an appointment in no time. I went in and the dermatologist seemed to think the spot on my face was file - a "skin barnacle" she called it (Seborrheic Keratosis). One of the moles that the Skin Cancer screening dermatologist was concerned about was cut off as was the "skin barnacle". I have had to walk around for a week with a little round bandaid on my face that makes it look like I popped a huge pimple or something.
The dermatologist's office called back today and the mole on my arm was normal but slightly "atypical" (huh?!). So that means that I need to keep an eye on all of my moles from now on. The spot on my face was not Seborrheic Keratosis but Actinic Keratosis which is a slow growing and pre-cancerous. So, good thing I had it looked at. I have to go back for some sort of treatment next month after the rosacea in my face is "under control" (dermatologist's words).
Maybe it is a good thing that we live in the least sunniest place on the face of the earth. Ok, maybe not least sunniest but probably close! We all suffer from Vitamin D deficiency but still end up with pre-cancerous skin cells. How fair is that*?
(*ok, of course this condition took decades to build up and was a result of the many sunburns I received as a child and teen and young adult and long before I moved to the City of No Sun).
And people, please watch and share this PSA:
(of course this is about melanoma, which is not what I kind mine could have turned into, but still a good message)