Monday, June 26, 2006

Decisions, Decisions, Incisions ...

Back in January, I went to a dermatologist to discuss what I thought were pimples on my face: two were near my left eye and one was near my right eye. They originally showed up around Thanksgiving last year, but after they had not faded or disappeared over 8 weeks, I sought a professional opinion.

The doctor I visited tried his hardest to convince me that they were ingrown hairs from shaving. When I told him that I had been shaving for nearly 25 years and could easily recognize an ingrown hair when I saw one, he then suggested that they were probably the onset of adult acne. In so many words, he told me to just get used to them.

After a few more months, I decided to try again - this time with another dermatologist recommended by my super-duper physician. This new dermatologist admitteded openly to not knowing what they were, so he put me on medication for a month as a preventive measure, then took a biopsy of one of the blemishes.

Turns out that my little friends are neither ingrown hairs nor adult acne, but cysts. The doctor doesn't believe that they are dangerous in any way, but I am meeting with him again next week to decide if they should be removed or not. My decision will be based around whether I choose to live with the three scars that will be left behind once I go through the surgery of having them removed, or just deal with the three cysts, which actually will disappear during summer when my skin is darker from the sun.

The "right thing" is to probably have them removed, but then that's a few weeks of bandages on my face. They aren't really hurting anything (except maybe my vanity) and as my sister put it, "you've had enough surgery to last you for awhile". So if pictures start showing up of me with Band-Aids on my face, you'll know what I'd decided to do.

Moreoever, the moral of this story is to always get a second opinion when in doubt. True, this was not life-threatening. But the leap from ingrown hairs to cysts is big enough.