Have you ever been to the Dermatologist? I never had. I’ve never had acne problems or anything like that, so I didn’t think I needed to. My fiance goes about once a year because he is fair complected and has a lot of moles and freckles. I am dark complected, have always tanned easily, and have some freckles, but really no moles. However, in my almost three years with Air-Tan, I have learned it’s not something to take lightly. I’ve met clients of ALL ages, skin-types, and lifestyles who have been diagnosed with skin cancer. Before working at Air-Tan, I liked to tan in the sun. I would spend my summers in high school seeing just how tan I could get. Now that I truly know the dangers, it makes me cringe to think about those days.
It’s really eye-opening to see the scars left behind from moles and tumors being removed – so eye-opening I made an appointment at a local dermatologist just in case. They took me back right away and had me strip down to my underwear. I was SO nervous, especially since the woman who had me strip down is a client at Air-Tan! Haha! It was kind of humorous that she was seeing ME in my undies, but she was very professional and made me feel very comfortable.
Then, the doctor came in and asked me if I had any concerns. I did have one dark mole on my inner thigh that looked different than any other freckles or moles on my body, but it had been there for as long as I can remember. The doctor examined it and the rest of my body from head to toe (literally), and made a recommendation. The mole could be nothing, but it could also be something. To be safe, she recommended that she numb it and shave it off right then and there – cringe – I agreed, of course, and got even more nervous. I couldn’t feel a thing, though, and she bandaged me up and told me they would call me in 7-10 days.
About 15 days went by. I got a little worried. My friend also just had a questionable mole shaved off from the same dermatologist. I called her and asked her how long it took her to get her results back. She said they called her in less than 7 days. I got more worried.
FINALLY, a few days later, they called. The lady on the phone asked me if I had a minute to talk. That’s when my heart sank. She said my mole was most likely a “spitz nevus” mole and is usually develops at ages 0-20. A spitz nevus mole is impossible to differentiate from melanoma as they look exactly alike. To be sure, they wanted me to come back in so they could remove the entire surrounding area. She told me I would need stitches and I would definitely have a scar. She asked me if I was willing to do that. I, of course, said yes!
I went in the next week for my excision. I was super nervous this time, especially when the head doctor came in with an assistant dressed from head-to-toe in medical gowns, hairnets, masks, and gloves. It made it all a little too real for me. I’ve never been hospitalized or had surgery, so it was kind of frightening to see them in their surgical outfits. They numbed me in 6-8 spots and I really couldn’t feel anything except for the stitches pulling on my skin – ew! I had more stitches than I’ve ever had before – over 20, but didn’t experience any pain after except for some major bruising.
A week or so later, the doctor’s office called me again with my final results. They told me I was fine. It was just a spitz nevus mole, not melanoma. Although everything turned out to be fine, I am SO glad I got the examination and the removal. Now I never have to wonder about that funny looking mole. The time, money, and even the worrying spent was completely worth my peace of mind. Forever choosing Air-Tan as a SAFE alternative to harmful UV rays!