Adventures in Dermatology

I think I might have found the best dermatologist in the world.  Well, my friend Rachel found her for me, but still.  She’s amazing.  Several years ago, I started getting bi-yearly body scans to check my four million moles for skin cancer.  Nothing beats stripping down to your undies (just undies) in a freezing cold doctor’s office while a person you hardly know takes a magnifying glass to every square inch of your body while a nurse jots down notes.  I would almost rather go to the gyno.  Seriously.  At least it’s quick.

A few years ago, my then derm found a couple of bad spots on my back, which she excised and sent in for testing, leaving me with 19 baby stitches.  Thankfully, those came back just fine.  Mom took pictures of the entire process, naturally, so maybe if we’re lucky she’ll post them in the comments section.  (Side bar – mom loves being around when I’m getting tortured, whether it’s my very first eyebrow waxing, hair removal, skin removal or using a laser to remove age spots.  She’s wicked.)  Aforementioned Rachel works at a place with a giant laser, which helps with the redness of my scars.  You can hardly see a thing!

I got out of the habit of going to the dermatologist while I was in Seattle, which is bananas for two reasons:  everyone in Seattle is pale and super active outdoors (hiking and skiing), likely making Seattle a market with great dermatologists.  Two, a friend from grad school died of skin cancer.  Well, maybe that’s not what got him in the end, but it’s certainly how it started.  Go get your moles checked, people!

Anyhoot, I’m now back in Dallas and didn’t want to go back to my old derm, who was inconveniently located and had zero bedside manner.  Enter Dr. Kingston.  Super lovely, beautiful office with fantastic views and she stocks pink polka dot dressing gowns.  I was so tickled that I took a selfie and sent it to my mom, who no doubt was bummed to miss the entire process.  I have no pride on the blog, so I’ll post for you guys to see too.  Don’t judge my hair – I promise I fixed it before I went to the office.  Plus, this was in December and I’ve lost a few pounds since then 🙂

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Same process of a magnifying glass and notes being taken, but they did it section by section so I never felt exposed or awkward.  That’s no small thing when you have a boatload of body issues in the first place and your doctor is in Highland Park.  If any of you need a dermatologist, please go see Dr. Kingston and her fabulous staff.  Click here for her website.  She also does the cosmetic side of dermatology, so if you need Botox, laser resurfacing, hair removal, etc. I’m sure they are just as awesome.  And no, she is not paying me to say these nice things 🙂  I was just so genuinely happy after leaving the office I want to let others know.  I should probably write a Yelp review.

I think waaaaay back in my first blog, I told you guys the quest for food allergies all started when my mom told me she didn’t like the blush I was wearing.  Well, I wasn’t wearing blush.  Turns out I have regular old rosacea. There’s a lot of info out there, but it boils down to this: Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition which principally affects the face. It causes facial redness and produces small, red, pus-filled pustules (bumps). Rosacea worsens with time if left untreated, and is often mistaken for acne, eczema, or some other skin allergy.  Wow, imagine that!  My inflammatory problems are screwing up my face and my insides.  Lovely.  I always had perfect skin, even in high school, so having breakouts now is not okay.

Plus, it can lead to thickening of the nose, and while I’m mostly okay with my nose as is, it certainly doesn’t need to be any bigger.  So all those cute old men you see with giant noses?  They’ve probably had rosacea forever.  I’ve heard it called “gin nose” which would work too, since alcohol is an inflammatory and inflammatory problems cause rosacea.  Crazy how the human body works.

I’ve got some good medication to work with that, and between the diet change and the medicine, my skin is getting better too.  Hurrah!  I know in the grand scheme of life, my face isn’t nearly as important as getting my blood right so my heart is okay, but I might as well be pretty while I do it.

I also snagged a great sunscreen at the office, which was reasonably priced, has no weird smell and doesn’t feel sticky and gross on my skin.  Now that I’m back in Texas and under the sun (well, not this past couple of weeks) I have to be more diligent than ever to keep my skin covered up and protected.  I’ll take all the teasing anyone wants to give me about how I reapply every 30 minutes, no matter where we are on the river or how many cocktails I’ve had.  Skin cancer isn’t taking this girl down, and even if it tries to creep up on me, I’ll catch it early.

Dr. Kingston added to my collection of scars by removing two more moles, but thankfully these didn’t require stitches.  One came back fine and the other dysplastic, so we’ll have to keep an extra close eye on it.  No shock that I’m having the most issues on my back, since it’s tricky to get sunblock on there…don’t be surprised if we’re out and about and I ask you for help to reapply 🙂  I also bought a sunshirt and have learned where to find the shady spots in the pool, so hopefully I’m covered.

Hopefully next time I see Dr. Kingston it’ll be for a beauty treatment and not because of my weird rashes and patches caused by inflammation.  That would be ideal!

Cheers!  And wear your SPF, friends.

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