Last week’s post on the reality of aging seemed to strike a chord, with many thoughtful, empowering, candid and inspiring thoughts in the the comments. Sal (a veteran Fabber) got right to the heart of the matter, writing, “Like many of us I have conflicting emotions about aging – what do I fight, what do I accept, what do I enjoy.

Some fight the physical effects of aging with all they’ve got, while others are more accepting. Either way, looking older is inevitable, and how we choose to manage the process is a personal choice. In the spirit of Sal’s words I’d like to share a story from this last week.

I have seven white moles on my face, many of which I’ve had for decades. They are a similar light colour to my pale skin, if a little lighter. Some of them are small and hard to spot, while others are more pronounced. I went to my regular dermatologist earlier this year because three of the white moles had increased in size. They had also gotten whiter and more prominent over time. My dermie assured me that these moles were benign and also that they would be easy to remove. This type of mole removal was a standard procedure with generally good results.

Removing the white moles from my face with minimal scarring meant having a cosmetic laser procedure. He referred me to another dermatologist who has the laser and is skilled at this. I made an appointment with the goal of exploring whether the aesthetic benefits were worth the cost and risks associated with removing them.

My appointment with the new dermatologist was very interesting. The offices were glitzy, and in a fancy building, which is very different to the down-to-earth hospital environment where I’ve been seeing my regular dermie for the last fourteen years. That alone took me by surprise. 

The new dermatologist told me that the risks of removing my white moles with a laser were minimal. There was potential for some scarring, and maybe an infection, but these seldom happened. He also said that the scars post laser procedure might be a little whiter than the surrounding skin because I have three colours in my skin tone: Brown spots from sun damage (aka, subtle freckles), red spots from some broken bold vessels, and my regular pale skin. He said that I could fix my uneven skin tone with another type of laser procedure, which he explained to me in great detail. He marveled at this additional treatment’s results, but it would cost thousands of dollars.

I really wasn’t interested in an expensive procedure to even out my skin tone, so after listening politely I thanked him for the info and we went back to focussing on the moles. I decided that I would have the three most prominent ones removed, and leave the rest for now. The laser procedure was fast, and the discomfort quite manageable. I was out of the appointment in forty minutes.

I have a band-aid on my nose and lower cheek but that hasn’t stopped me from seeing clients, friends, walking Sam, and running errands because life goes on.

To use Sal’s phrase, I decided to fight three of the moles, accept the rest of them, and enjoy the character of my uneven skin tone. I like my slightly freckled nose and my easily flushed cheeks, because that’s who I am.