Yesterday, I tried out a new dermatologist. Yes, yes, yes--the fun never stops. Skin cancer runs in my family; I have moles checked, removed and biopsied regularly. An ad in the local paper for this dude promised no long waits. The doctor I had been seeing makes you wait for an hour, then rushes you out in 3 minutes.
This guy actually sees patients once a week at a plastic surgeon's office with a very convenient location. Passing the huge "Plastic Surgery" sign outside, still clad in my yoga clothes, I was mildly worried that someone would spot me. I didn't want anyone to think I am considering having work done. Then the receptionist had me fill out all these forms as if I was in for a tummy tuck, breast implants or some other invasive procedure.
As promised, there was no wait. I was seen by a very young looking man, who declared the spot on my neck a mole, came at me with a needle to numb the area, and then sliced it off for a biopsy. He left a shallow hole that I hope will heal before too long. The doctor decided the identical looking spot on my knee was a keratosis, which doesn't need to be biopsied, and froze that off with liquid nitrogen, per my request.
Finished with the medical portion of my visit, he commenced with the upselling. "You have a lot of sun damage," he noted. Sun damage seems to be the current medical term for freckles, which I have been covered with since early childhood. "Does it bother you?" Well, not before you put it like that. I don't even notice my freckles when I look in the mirror. I am an Irish Catholic with fair skin and a history of sunburns
acquired running around Orchard Beach in the Bronx before the invention
of adequate sunscreen. For the past 25 years, I have been vigilant about protecting myself from the sun, and I think my epidermis looks pretty decent considering what it has been through these past 5 decades.
I had to distract Dr. Dude from my freckles. There is barely a square inch of my body devoid of them. (Sorry guys, I'm taken.) "What bothers me are these broken capillaries around my nose," I told him truthfully. When I was at ELLEgirl I saw a fancy NYC dermatologist for one very painful lasering session that did NOTHING. Since then, I usually deal with the situation by not looking in the mirror for very long; sometimes I try to cover them with concealer, which then gets sort of clumpy and noticeable. He took a closer look. "You have rosacea," he said. "You have a generalized redness on your whole face." I do? I thought that was my healthy glow. He suggested two different kinds of lasers to "even out my skin tone." It would end up costing four figures.
I actually am considering it. So I can sort of see how people become plastic surgery addicts. One minute you're having a medically necessary procedure, the next minute your lasering off this or that, trying to erase your history and your individuality.