• Chicago (312) 263-4625
  • Bourbonnais (815) 933-2227
150 N. Michigan Ave #1200, Chicago, IL 60601

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

Published on May 4, 2017 by
sk

Prevent. Protect. Get Checked.

It is important to stay informed on the dangers of skin cancer and how to protect yourself and your skin. Our patient shares her personal experience with basal cell carcinoma and the MOHs surgery to remove it in the below testimonial.

Laura C., Age 40

“I have always prided myself on using sunscreen, especially on my face on a daily basis. I’m the girl who will use an entire can of sunscreen with SPF of 50 at the pool and reapply every 30 minutes. So sunscreen was and is a daily part of my routine. A couple of months after my MOHs procedure, I needed to replenish some of my make-up so I went to the same store and make-up counter on Michigan Avenue I have been going to for five years. About two years ago I had started using a newer tinted moisturizer that did not have SPF. So when I switched to that new tinted moisturizer, I started using a new primer and was advised that it absolutely included sunscreen. The sunscreen was the main reason I bought it. Two years later after my recent MOHs procedure I decided to triple check the SPF in the primer. Come to find out, there was no SPF in the primer. I was mortified because for two years, I was not actually applying any SPF to my face. So moral of the story, please double and triple check that your daily routine truly does include an SPF.
Dr. Sulewski and the staff at Pinski Dermatology are incredible and make everything so very easy. And they do great work, you can barely see my scar on my face. I am so happy with the results. Don’t forget to check your SPF in your make-up!”

What is your history with sun exposure and sun protection? When I was younger I was not religious about sunscreen on my body, but I was certainly religious about it in my face. I used nothing less than 50 SPF and would lay by the pool but cover my face.

Why did you first come in to get the lesion(s) checked out and what concerned you about the lesion(s)? I’ve had strange spots on my body that were basal cell and required removal but never on my face. I decided to finally get my face checked when a spot on my forehead would disappear and then reappear, it was annoying. (It was diagnosed as Basal Cell Carcinoma)

What was your MOHs procedure like? It was more intense than having others spots removed elsewhere in my body. I was expecting the procedure to take an hour or so and have a few stitches. It actually took several hours and numerous stitches. I was thankful that everything was explained step by step. I was most impressed with actually getting to see the good cells and the bad cells under the microscope.

What was the healing process like? Once I got past the shock of the stitches, the healing process began. My procedure was done in May 2016, so I had to be especially careful going into the summer months. I think the hardest part was pulling my hair back in a ponytail and exposing my wound. It would of course invite questions, but I was then able to tell my story and encourage others to be religious about sunscreen.
Was post care difficult? Once I got use to the stitches, it was easy, just cleaning, topical treatment and sunscreen.

How long ago was your procedure and how is the scar healing? My procedure was one year ago in May. I could not be happier with the scarring, it is so minor, but a constant reminder to take special care of my skin and protect myself.

*Dr. Sulewski is highly skilled in complex cosmetic closures (including flaps and grafts) post surgery to ensure the MOHs scar will heal as best as possible. If needed, we also use certain lasers to help reduce redness and aid in the healing process.

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