Friday, September 12, 2008

The Seb-K

Went to the dermatologist a few days ago.  I had a manky-looking mole sort of thing that Stephanie was concerned about.  It was annoying but not that big of a deal, but it's a quick visit and I have good health insurance, so I went to see Dr. Xu (pronounced "Shoe").  She looked at it, then smiled and looked at me, but with an air of gravitas.

"Good news.  You don't have skin cancer."

I started laughing.  Out loud.

"Is that funny?"

I lied.  "I'm just relieved."

What was so funny was her carefully-crafted performance. I am sure that she sees a ton of people who have funny little growths, each convinced they have days to live.  Skin cancer is so much a part of the weird health culture we have, whereas the incidence of it is fairly low.  Low incidence doesn't sell sunscreen and giant floppy hats, so it's hyped up so people are scared.

What I had was a seborrheic keratoses, or a Seb-K.  It sounds sort of gansta for a bunch of dermatologists.  It's benign, quickly treated with liquid nitrogen (the elixir of life for dermatologists), and other than looking somewhat scary, it's nothing.

I'm convinced after this interaction that the job of a dermatologist, aside from removing moles and diagnosing rashes, etc., is to make sure people don't freak out about their freckles.  Dr. Xu did a great job of that.  If I were freaked out before, and I wasn't, I feel a lot better now.

Yours for liquid nitrogen in the hands of trained professionals,



Silbs said...

At least you didn'thave fleas and lice (old med expression).

canoelover said...

Hey, Doc, I learned that if you turn over a can of compressed air (the stuff for blowing dust off a sensitive equipment) you can create a do it yourself Seb-K treatment. That freezes it up nice!


Silbs said...

1. Practicing without a license
2. Do NOT try this at home
3. That's the kind of nonsense that leads to physician unemployment.

canoelover said...

But it is going to leave a bitchin' scar! :-)

canoelover said...

UPDATE: The Seb-K fell off. I'd post a picture but it's still sorta gross-looking. :-)