Monday, November 4, 2013

Check your skin, pale people in a sunny country: A pre-summer PSA

I've had an itchy, irritating bump on my back for a few weeks now. The kind of itch that's intense enough to make you scrape yourself up and down doorframes, which is embarassing if you get sprung at work and just weird at home. My family has been called upon for back-scratching duties, and I was getting pretty annoyed, waiting for it to subside.

Then my daughter said, "Mummy, that looks funny."

And my husband said, "It does look pretty wrong. I think you should get it checked."

Luckily for me, my doctor was able to squeeze me in tonight, and I'm recently back from having what turned out to be a seborrheic keratosis - a harmless, if unsightly and irritating, skin glitch associated with sun damage and age - removed from my back via cryosurgery. (I told this to my daughter, who said, "What's that? Surgery where you cry?" Remembering the sting of the liquid nitrogen, I said, "Well, kinda...")

My doctor also had a look at my many moles, sunspots, freckles and other keratoses while I was there, just to make sure they are all still OK. They are, but it made me remember that it's three years since I was checked, and in a pale woman, with moles, over 40, living in a country with no ozone layer worth speaking of, that just isn't smart.

With summer coming on, if you are, like me, a pale pinkish grub in a hot, sunny land, think about getting your skin checked. Avoidable skin cancer is not the thing any of us wants to die of, is it? So - let's not.

This has been your I-just-went-to-the-doctor-so-here-is-my-current-health-preoccupation PSA for today :-)

This is post 4 in NaBloPoMo. 4 down, 26 to go!

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