I know… the title is pretty bold. Yes, really my dermatologist and my upcoming surgery will likely be the things that actually save my face. However, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to go into the dermatologist if it hadn’t been for one lovely lady at the Aveda Institute in Portland.
*Please note that I am in NO WAY suggesting going to a salon for a facial is in any way equivalent to a professional opinion. But, I wanted to tell my story about how one facial moved me to going to get my face examined by the dermatologist.
I actually discovered my new frienemy about two and a half years ago. It was sometime after my little one was born that I noticed a mole on my forehead that I had never noticed before. I wasn’t concerned. I am covered in freckles and moles… I thought perhaps it was a sign I was aging. To me, it looked like a clear, slightly raised bump on my forehead. It was nothing a little makeup couldn’t cover.
I did mention the new mole to my general practitioner when I went in for a check-up. The doctor wasn’t concerned at the time. (Admittedly, I came in with a laundry list of things I wanted him to check and he gave each item his attention, but focused on the items that were causing me the most distress.)
About a YEAR later my mole began breaking open and bleeding. This should have been a dead giveaway to me. It wasn’t. I assumed I just scraped it hard with my towel when drying my hair. It would heal up, I’d forget about it, and then it would break open again.
At one point I was out with a friend during a photo shoot and she told me about her experience of skin cancer. She described what was happening on my face to a T. I didn’t tell her I was concerned about my face. I didn’t show her my mole. But, I knew I had skin cancer. I still didn’t go in to see the dermatologist. (I’m shaking my head too right now.)
To see a chart for your skin self-checks visit the ABCD’s of Melanoma from the Melanoma Foundation. My skin did not have the same color as the ones in this chart. Also, gross.
Does it matter? It was stupid! I had a thousand and one excuses… “It’s too expensive.” “I don’t have time.” “I can’t take off of work right now.” “It’ll be 6 months before I can even get an appointment.” Etc. Etc. Etc.
This year for the Portland Fashion Week Style Collective I had the opportunity to try the Aveda Institute’s student-led spa facial. I had never had a facial before and was looking forward to it. I really didn’t even think about my mole being a concern. The student did an amazing job. She was professional and explained the process to me as she went along because I asked her to. She evaluated my skin so that she could suggest the types of products and skin regime I should follow for my skin. It was great! And then she happened upon my mole…
“Can you tell me more about this spot on your forehead?” she politely asked.
“Yea, it breaks open every now and again. But, it is fine.” I lied.
Later her teacher came in and checked her progress. She too was professional and explained things to me as she was working. She too asked me about the spot. I told her a little bit more.
“It is a mole of mine that breaks open every now and again. I know I need to get it checked. I have an appointment next month.” I TOTALLY LIED AGAIN.
“Oh good! It is looking a little abnormal to me and I definitely think you should get it checked out. When is your appointment?” She responded. (Did she know I was lying!?!)
“I think in two weeks… I don’t remember.” I lied again.
I’m not a liar. I don’t like lying. I am BAD at lying. So this little lie stuck with me all night long.
The next day I called and made my appointment. Surprisingly enough I found a dermatologist near my work, that accepted my insurance, and had an appointment open just three days later.
So, that lovely lady and Aveda student really helped make me go in to get my skin check and begin my journey to healthier skin. And, bonus, they also suggested some great tips for my skin type that have really improved my skin. But, that is a post for another day (soon!)