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Pale Is Beautiful

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Some of my best times as a child and teen were spent in the sun.

We would come back to middle school sun-kissed after two weeks in Florida during the December holiday vacation. Teachers and friends would tell me how beautiful my 13-year-old skin looked. Summers were spent in Hilton Head riding bikes around town and playing for hours on the beach. College spring breaks were rebelliously sunscreen-less in Mexico where I thought I was doing my body a favor by getting tan in the shortest amount of time possible. In the sun was where I was happiest, and I felt healthier than ever with my bronze glow. Even those temporary sun blisters and burns on the really strong days couldn’t change my habits.

A few weeks before my November 2011 wedding, I saw a dermatologist in NYC just to be sure my moles were nothing to worry about before embarking on a long sun-filled honeymoon. I remembered from a high school health class that if a mole changed in any way, had irregular borders or changed color, you should see a doctor and one mole on my chest had actually gotten slightly larger even though it was only half the size of a pencil eraser.

After checking me out, the dermatologist told me that it was totally normal and threw in that, should I need any Botox for my wedding (I’m 27 and my forehead shockingly doesn’t move), he was my guy. Slightly miffed, I left and went on my merry way to get married.

After returning from my honeymoon spent Down Under in Australia and New Zealand, I realized part of my tiny mole changed color since I spent time in the sun. I immediately knew that I needed a second opinion. My new dermatologist removed the mole to get it tested…“just to be safe”, he said.

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