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After 32 years of sunbathing, I've finally decided I should visit a dermatologist to check out two spots on my leg. I've made it my goal for the year and I'm doing it next week. The trouble? I am terrified ... terrified of doctors which is why I put it off for so incredibly long. What would one expect when visiting a dermatologist for the first time? I suppose it's the unknown that is especially horrifying. Many thanks.

Tue. Jan 29, 8:49am

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Going to a dermatologist for a mole check is REALLY easy! It's like the most painless doctors experience you'll have.

You'll be asked to take off your clothes (except your underwear) and put on one of those paper robes. Then when the doc comes in, he basically just looks at you, one body part at a time. There'll probably be an assistant in the room too. At mine, the assistant has a sheet of paper with a picture of a person on it. The doctor will tell the assistant where I have moles, and the assistant makes a note on the picture of where the mole is, and how big it is.

That's it!

Oh, and he/she will probably tell you that you need to wear sunscreen at every second of every day, with like an SPF of 1000 or so, and to stop sunbathing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 10:14 AM

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And don't be surprised if they decide to remove a "suspicious mole" and send it to the lab. Sorry to be such a cynic, but most docs don't get a fair shake on fees from your insurance company for just the appointment, so they'll do a bit of "office surgery" (mole removal) to pad out the bill. I don't think they realize how much this freaks us patients out. I've never had one come back pre-cancerous or anything - in fact, one of them wasn't even a mole. It was a freckle.

Friday, February 01, 2008, 11:30 PM

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Freckles can be dangerous too and your doctor wanted to be safe. I'm sure derms understand the anxiety that comes with doing biopsies-- probably a few of them have had their own health related personal experiences. In general, I think most doctors out there are good, but yeah I'm sure there are the occasional not so good.

Saturday, February 02, 2008, 2:14 AM

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