The Price of my Vanity

May 17, 2006 at 11:45 pm 25 comments

cc22.jpgI used to have these two moles on my face.  One beside my mouth and another one under my chin. I’d have them ever since I could remember.  They didn’t really bother me before.  I liked them.  They were my distinguishing marks.  I sometimes even considered them as my beauty mark.  He he he.  You know, like Cindy Crawford’s is hers.  And of course Ate Guy. (Nora Aunor who’s a famous Philippine actress.)

About five years ago, the one under my chin started to grow a hair.  I once worked with this lady who had a hairy mole and I didn’t think it was a pretty sight.  So when the hair on my mole got longer, I cut it.  Then the hair grew back and I started cutting it every time it would grow.  Then more hair grew, even gray hair.  It has become my habit to cut it everytime I would go out of the house or if I would be around other people.  Which isn’t a lot since I work at home. 

One day, I cut too close.  I accidentally cut the mole itself.  I got nervous.  What if it now became cancerous?  I went to see a doctor and told him that I wanted to have it removed.  He said that he could cauterize moles but since it was on my face, he didn’t want to touch it.  He recommended me to a dermatologist who took a look at it with his magnifying glass.  He also said that the one beside my mouth has tiny hairs.  I told him that he might as well remove that one too.  He set up an appointment for me to have the two removed. 

So the day came and I lay there on the doctor’s table.  First he gave me local anaesthesia.  Oh, that stung like a bee.  I thought that he was just going to zap the moles out with a laser.  That’s what I heard people say.  That doctors just use laser to remove moles.  And that was my mistake.  I thought.  I usually ask doctors how and why.  But it didn’t occur to me to ask any questions when he examined me before.  I just assumed.

I was surprised when he snipped the first mole with scissors.  But I dared not protest and move my mouth for fear of bigger damage.  He also cut the second one with his scissors.  Then he told me to close my eyes and he began stitching them up.  When he was finished, he put band-aids on them.  He told me not to make them wet.  "But what if they get wet," I asked.  Then he applied a set of clear bandages on the them.  "But what if they still get wet?" I asked.  "They’re water-proof now.  They won’t get wet," he said. 

He told me further not to move my mouth too much so there would be less scarring.  I would heed that advise, I thought.  I just won’t talk if not necessary.  Easier said than done.  The moment I got home that day, my two younger kids were bickering and I was alone in the house with them and I couldn’t help but yell.  Ouch! 

At supper, I made myself instant noodle soup.  I needed something soft and easy to eat.  The bandage was preventing me to open my mouth wide.  "They won’t get wet," he said.  They did when I ate my soup and had a drink and when I brushed my teeth.  The next morning I tried to take a shower without getting them wet but they still did.

This is the good thing about having a brother-in-law who’s a nurse.  I asked him to come over and change my wet bandages.  Isn’t that nice?  He told me to change them whenever they got wet to avoid infection.

I also refrained from carrying heavy stuff.  I learned my lesson when I had my first C-section and carried a pail of diapers soaked in water.  My stitches got infected.  I won’t let that happen this time.  I dragged my husband to the grocery store to carry the heavy grocery bags.  And I told Ryland that I couldn’t carry him anymore in the morning when I bring him downstairs.

For ten days, I walked around with band-aids on my face.  There was a point when I asked myself, what have I gotten myself into?  My youngest son was going to be celebrating his First Communion and I might end up with these band-aids on my face on that special day. I wondered what people thought.  But nobody asked what happened to my face except for Wanda, the catechism coordinator.  I told her that I had my moles removed.  “This is the price of my vanity,” I said.  “No,” she said.  “It could be malignant you know.”

But no, it wasn’t.  I came back to the dermatologist’s office after ten days.  He told me that the biopsy results were good.  Then he removed my stitches.  I thought it was going to hurt.  But it didn’t.

On the bus on my way home that day, I sat behind this lady who had a hairy mole on her face.  And her mole was even bigger than the one I had.  I still thought it wasn’t a pretty sight.  But some people may think otherwise.  I was glad I got rid of mine. 

My mother gave me a very good tip.  She told me to ask the dermatologist to write me a short note, a proof that he removed my moles.  It will be very helpful when the time comes that I need to show my passport or citizenship card.  My mole was very noticeable on my pictures on both.

The price of  my vanity?  Cdn $100 (US$120) and two additional (small) scars on my face. Not bad. 

Once in a while I’d glance in the mirror and look where my moles used to be.  There’s just a tiny speck of pinkish area beside my mouth. And the one under my chin doesn’t look that bad either.  They’ve healed pretty well.  And yes, the bandages came off before Ryland’s First Communion.

Do I miss my moles?  Maybe the one that was beside my mouth.  Just a little bit.  But I certainly don’t miss the hairy one.


Entry filed under: Detour.

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25 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jayred  |  May 18, 2006 at 2:18 am

    My sister told me I should have the moles on my face removed by the doctor. They might be cancerous daw kasi. One medium-sized mole, which is beside my nose, seems to “grow.” One time, when I was looking at my mirror reflection, I’ve noticed that I have other tiny moles on my face now! Nanganganak, as they say in Tagalog. But still, I’m hesitating whether I should visit the doctor for this….

    I can just imagine the bandage on your face. 🙂 A churchmate had her facial mole removed two years ago. She attended the Christmas party with a big bandage plastered across her nose. I think I was one of the few who asked her what happened.

    Good you had those moles removed — just to be on the safe side.

  • 2. bingskee  |  May 18, 2006 at 8:17 am

    uy, irene, i also have a mole under my chin and a mole like that of Nora Aunor’s. the one under the chin has hairs that i love to pull. i dont cut them becuz am afraid i might hurt myself.

    i am scared with the thought of having them removed but also scared not to have them removed.

    glad you’re ok.

  • 3. Toe  |  May 18, 2006 at 9:43 am

    Oh, my husband also has a mole like that! And I have a friend whose face is half-covered (I’m not exaggerating) with a mole that’s covered with hair. I’m glad yours healed well and that you’re alright.

  • 4. domestic rat  |  May 18, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    I’m shocked to learn of such backward method used to remove the moles. I expected something more savvy that is painless, fast and I must add, leaves the previously occupied spots looking alot better. Is it better now? It’s scary the way you described it.

    Still, it’s good that you have them removed. I heard stories of how they can grow and may turn cancerous. If not for the sake of sheer vanity, then it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • 5. niceheart  |  May 19, 2006 at 12:13 am

    Hi Jayred and Bing, as long as your moles are smaller than the size of a pencil eraser, I think you have nothing to worry about. I’ve done my homework on moles before because one of my sons was born with a huge 2-inch hairy mole on his back. We’d have it removed when he was 3 years old. But to be on the safe side, you should probably have a doctor check them.

    Toe, so your husband has one too, eh? Yeah, I’m glad that mine healed well. I’m sure that as time goes by, the scar will be hardly noticeable.

    DR, I think my moles were not small enough to be treated just by laser. I think laser is used only for those tiny-sized ones.

    Signs that you should watch in moles are change in size, colour and assymetry. If you notice any of these changes, you should definitely have them checked.

  • 6. mmy-lei  |  May 20, 2006 at 5:10 am

    New House! Congrats.

    Anyway, i have a mole also in my face. It’s not like a pencil rubber but still i wanted to remove it but my mom beg me not to.

    The way you described you operation, i dont know if i’ll have it remove. It’s a bit scary. hehehe

  • 7. sesame  |  May 20, 2006 at 6:26 am

    Very surprised to learn that he just used scissors to snip off your moles…

    My husband had two of his removed via laser. But his were not protuding or large. I have one on the left side of my face which is protuding and prominent. I’m not planning to remove it though cos I kind of like it and was told that it’s good for me.

    But I know how it feels to have something removed unappealing removed from the face. I had a spot which lived with me for umpteen years. I can’t describe how happy I am to have finally got rid of it this year!

  • 8. niceheart  |  May 20, 2006 at 8:27 pm

    Mmy-lei, I think having moles removed is a personal preference. I may have described my operation as scary (well I find anything with needles and scissors scary) but it didn’t really hurt that much. Only the needle for the anaethesia and then I didn’t really feel anything after that.

    Sesame, thanks for dropping by. It’s good that your husband’s moles were treated only with laser. That’s what I was expecting. And yeah, I was glad I finally got rid of my hairy mole.

  • 9. jane  |  May 24, 2006 at 2:30 am

    vanity ain’t cheap talaga, he he! good thing you hd your moles removed though, sometimes kasi they can be cancerous daw 😉

  • 10. niceheart  |  May 24, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    That’s true, Jane. Better to be safe. But what really bothered me was the hair. 🙂

  • 11. Madge  |  July 25, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for posting your story. I am gettting a facial mole removed tomorrow and rather apprehensive about it. I had one removed on my back years ago and the scar isn’t pretty.
    I am getting this one removed because it is right above my lip, has hair, and is getting bigger.
    I don’t know the surgeon, since I am in a new area. He is recommended by a woman I trust, so I’m hoping it will go well.

  • 12. niceheart  |  July 25, 2006 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Madge. Don’t worry too much. It’s just a simple procedure. And it doesn’t really hurt that much. Hope everything goes well.

  • 13. Madge  |  July 27, 2006 at 2:29 pm

    It did go well. I wanted to take a picture afterwards cuz it looked like I got in a good fight. ! The worst part WAS the numbing needle. But the runner-up goes to hearing the snipping and slicing and even some blood dripping into my mouth! blech!
    I’m glad it’s done. I have to have the stitches in for a week—I will use vitamin E to help with the healing.
    Thanks again for this post–I had a hard time finding ANYTHING on the web from a REAL person. 🙂

  • 14. niceheart  |  July 27, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    Glad to hear that it went well. I also think that the needle was the worst part. Although, there was no blood dripping on mine. Yours was probably bigger and I think closer to your mouth.

    I’m glad that you found my humble post on the web.:)

  • 15. Shrawan  |  August 8, 2006 at 10:14 am

    I have a mole about 3 mms on the side of the nose. it doesn’t look big in fact it looks hardly noticeable on the photos but i feel they are too big. Last week I accidently scratched the mole with my fingernails. Now it has become hard and slightly blacker than before. Shuld I get it removed or will the local medicines cure the infection and make it normal. Please can anyone help.

  • 16. niceheart  |  August 8, 2006 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Shrawan, I would go see my doctor before taking any medicines and ask him if I have anything to be worried about.

  • 17. Shrawan  |  August 9, 2006 at 6:53 am

    Thank you for the suggestion niceheart. I applied some antibacterial ointment yesterday on the mole and today the hard surface which appeared over the mole peeled off and the mole looks a lot better. In fact it looks smaller than before. But just to be sure I am meeting a dermatologist tommorow.

  • 18. skippy  |  March 1, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Moles on the face are almost never cancerous.

  • 19. Ruth  |  May 16, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    I have a hairy mole and am worried that if I cut or pluck the hairs they will spread to the rest of my face and the area around my mole.I am very worried is my theory possible?????

  • 20. niceheart  |  May 17, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Ruth, I wouldn’t think that’s possible. But what do I know? I’m not a doctor. If you are really worried, I think you should visit your doctor. Just to be on the safe side.

  • 21. tod  |  September 4, 2008 at 11:17 am

    I cut my own moles off with the sisccors.
    1 day i was looking at these little moles on the side of my chest and little flappy skin things under my arms about the size of a small pea. I squeezed one with my nails and tried to nip it off it diddnt hurt so i thaugh wonder if i can just cut them off? So I started chopping away and i couldnt beilive it ive had theese horrible things on my skin for years and it didnt even hurt. The more i searched my boddy the more moles i found I just kept snipping away then my girlfriend walked in and screamed at me! I was stood naked in front of the mirror with a pair of sicssors in my hand and was covered in blood!

    I think its funny when i think of it now. Seen as ive just cut 2 more of from my chest and thats what made me think of it.

    But was wondering can I make things worse ?

  • 22. niceheart  |  September 4, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Tod, I don’t know. I’d be too scared to cut my own moles.

  • 23. nelc  |  April 10, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Thanks so much…your theme and your site are really great. …

  • 24. chael  |  November 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Hi, i removed my mole using my fingernails.. then i becamse a wound.. then after 1 day. i remove the wound.. and the mole disappeared also. my mole size is just like a tip of a pencil and its flat. can it be cancerous?

    • 25. niceheart  |  November 14, 2010 at 9:13 am

      hi chael, i’d go to the doctor to have it checked. just to be on the safe side.


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