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 Post subject: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:51 am 
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I have an appointment with a dermatologist on Monday. I went to my GP today because this spot on my arm has been bothering me for a while and when I finally sat down and thought about it I realized it has been bothering me for nearly two months. Back in November I noticed this "bug bite" on my arm and thought it was weird, but I have two cats so who knows. It was itchy sometimes, but not always. It would shrink sometimes, but not completely go away before getting red, irritated and itchy again. Sometimes it even opens and oozes a bit, but I'll leave the TMI at that.

I went to the GP today and he said it's definitely not a bug bite. I have done some googling (I know...never a good idea) and the symptoms and pictures sound a lot like a basal cell carcinoma. All things considered, that's not the most terrible possibility, but it still makes me think about cancer and all of that.

I decided to ask the doc about this other spot on my back that I can't see as easily but that has been giving me similar problems and he said that one needs to be looked at, too.

I'm a bit freaked out about it since I've never been to a dermatologist before. I know "weird moles" are a part of life for some people and I've known plenty of friends who have scars from having things cut out - my boyfriend has a few - but it's new to me. Can we commiserate about weird spots? Can anyone tell me what to expect at the dermatologist or what I should ask about?


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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:49 am 
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I had a pretty big mole on my back that I had cut out and stitched up. two days later there was a free jumping castle at uni. it didn't end well, and now I have a forking huge scar where they had to re-cut the tissue, and start over.

BCCs are pretty normal though, as you say. don't stress too much about it if you can help it! you'll have it burned off and pretty much forget it ever existed :)

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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:27 pm 
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joshua wrote:
I had a pretty big mole on my back that I had cut out and stitched up. two days later there was a free jumping castle at uni. it didn't end well, and now I have a forking huge scar where they had to re-cut the tissue, and start over.

BCCs are pretty normal though, as you say. don't stress too much about it if you can help it! you'll have it burned off and pretty much forget it ever existed :)


Thanks friend! xo

Do they give you local anesthesia for it? I'm no sucker when it comes to pain, but I'm still curious. Considering some lady told me at the hospital to come back to the doctor only when my throat was so swollen that if I drank water it would "dribble out of my mouth because it can't go down my throat," I'm worried about what comforts they will give here! Haha. I was picturing a scalpel in my arm while sitting at the doctor's desk or some other crude daydream.

If the bedside manner at the gyno is any indication, I have little hope for my spots!


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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:40 pm 
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I don't know about in NL, but generally in AU you'll just pop down to your GP and they freeze the little suckers off. but they're common in AU, so maybe they've had more practice :P generally there's no need for anesthetic. it's called cryosurgery if you want to google around on the technique. (note, you'll probably find some horror stories too, as it goes wrong from time to time..but generally it's fine)

maybe they do things completely differently there though. good luck!

I actually have a mole on my leg that I need looked at. it's about the size of a fingernail, so it'll probably leave a decent scar. chix dig 'em anyways, so it's fine :)

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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:59 pm 
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Cryosurgery...sounds so futuristic! Do they usually test it or do they just freeze it off and call it a day?

Thomas has some spots that had to be cut out and stitched up, but I'm assuming (hoping) these are small enough to be dealt with easily.


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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:51 pm 
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I had an irregularly shaped "beauty mark" cut out with a scalpel in my GP's office in Amsterdam, and she did give me local anesthetic. I had something (benign) burned off another time without anesthetic, but then it really wasn't necessary. So I suspect that if there's scalpel-work of any kind, they'll definitely numb the area, but if they burn or freeze it off, they won't.

Good luck! Hope it all goes well!

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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:45 pm 
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I had a mole cut out, later found it was basal cell. Like everyone said, minor procedure, but I actually had quite a bit of unexpected pain after the local wore off. No one warned me, so I was at work when this happened, and the pain was intense and nauseating. Not to scare you, but just to say that you might want to take it easy afterwards, and ask for some prescription strength painkillers. I lived in NL, so I know that system relies on a certain amount of stoicism--ask for what you need.

Also it's good to get a dermatologist to do it. I had a GP (this was in US) and let's just say it wasn't her specialty. She let me keep my white t-shirt on, which then got a huge blood stain. Derp.


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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:41 pm 
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JillW, I'm glad you know about living in the Netherlands where paracetemol is the answer to everything. I'm assuming the appointment I have on Monday will be a short one and that if they need to do any procedures they will schedule that out, but I'll make sure I don't wear white!


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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:24 pm 
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Aw, you should be fine. The derm will look at it and determine if they should take it out or not. It doesn't hurt, they numb it with awesome cryogenic stuff and take it out in a small coring and either stitch or glue you back together. I'm a freckled freak so I go through this a lot. I tend to only get stitches by interns who need the practice (and I give them pointers, they are kind of crappy at stitching). Some of my moles turn irritating and weird (it can get icky, no need to describe) but I thankfully haven't gotten a "bad" one. Mine have never been very painful after, so it could vary person to person.

And now is a good time to remember sunscreen. Every day!

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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:13 am 
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I had a spot on my foot that was changing shapes. They cut it off and the healing wasn't too bad. When I went in for the results, the doctor told me they flew my little foot mole across the country to different specialists because they were having trouble determining what it was. It was either between a melanoma or a spitz nevus. They decided it was a spitz nevus, but decided to get wider margins, so they went in again to cut a piece of my foot out. Both times I got local, but this time they had to give me stitches and I couldn't walk. I was supposed to use crutches but I really wasn't getting by with those. Now I can't tell which foot it was on, so I guess it healed okay.


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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:18 am 
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Update: doc thinks it's eczema since he said precancerous spots rarely itch. So I have some creams to use!


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 Post subject: Re: Out, damned spot! (Or...dealing with weird moles)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:04 am 
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I had a mole-thingy on my back that grew really fast and itched. It was right on that spot at the edge of your shoulder blade that is really hard to reach, so the itchiness sucked. I went to the doctor, who said they could either cut a small bit of it to sample and see if it was cancerous, or just cut the whole thing out. I went with removing the whole thing cos like i said, itchy! I am super squeamish so i was not happy about getting even a minor surgery. They gave me some pills to help relax me, i don't remember what. They used local anesthesia so it didn't hurt. BUT i asked the surgeon how many shots i would get of anesthia. He said one. What he meant was one shot, in four places, four times. That peeved me. It was fine though, and that is coming from someone who leaves the room at the mere mention of surgery. So don't stress! It will be okay!

Something kinda off-topic but interesting: i have a solid blob under my skin on my neck. It started about the size of a pea, but grew to the size of a marble. When i went to the doctor for it, everyone at the office was fascinated. As in, they literally called in other nurses and doctors to look at this thing, and asked me to call them back when i found out what it was. I went to another doctor who said it was an infected hair follicle and that i should get it cut out because it may explode or something. Well, i didn't get it cut out. It's still there, and it's shrunk a bit. I am a little convinced it's a tiny alien egg, and they wanted to cut it out for experiments and stuff.

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