Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dermatology, Then and Now.

I just finished Jane Eyre yesterday, and it has instilled in me the desire to address everyone I encounter as Dear Reader.
As in, Dear Reader, do you believe Mr. Rochester frightens me?  If you do, you know me not!

Anyway, not resisting that urge, dear reader, I will tell you this: I have whiled many an hour in the office of various dermatologists.  There was the one in South Dakota when I had that rash, which turned out not to be a rash at all, but scabies, contracted from cuddling with too many stray dogs.  That dermatologist, dear reader, would not step past the door, and placed a prescription for very strong drugs on the counter, as I stood near a window ledge, rubbing my back vigorously against it for some relief.
I don't believe he even shook my hand.

Did you know that when you have scabies, someone has to administer a cream on your body to the places you cannot reach, such as your middle back?
And did you know, that when you have just moved somewhere and know each acquaintance about 10 days, it is a great test of humanity to find a person to do this chore?  To say, "Hi, I have parasites crawling under my skin, and they are at this moment burrowing tunnels and laying eggs.  Oh, and it's highly contagious!  Would you be a love and slather this on my back?"

The infrequent cases aside, I began my visits and continue them because I am a freckled person.  And sometimes my freckles decide they would rather test the boundaries of their lot in life, and change form.
Sometimes a freckle begins life shaped like Ireland, then revolts and becomes Nigeria in too short a time.

And I seek the dermatologist, and sit there while uprising freckles are examined, and answer questions like, "Have you ever had a blistering sunburn?"

Hasn't everybody?  Isn't that how freckled people tan?  Because after the blisters have finally burst and scarred, there is one heck of an afterglow. 

Having seen dermatologists over much time and in every location in which I've lived, I have noticed a marked change in what is hanging on the walls and set upon the tables.
My first visit, I recall, the waiting room had a poster with photographs of moles that had changed shape or color.
Pertinent information.

This week, upon visiting, there is no trace of such pertinent information.  There is however, many a pamphlet letting me know that when this aging process becomes so incredibly uncomfortable, there is relief, such as fillers, and the phantom promise that some man may nuzzle my cheek after I avail myself to such injections.
There are pamphlets letting me know that if I am finally dissatisfied with the length of my lashes, well, Brook Shields can help me with that.

Strangely, the desire arises to thrust my back against some protruding ledge and scratch until there is relief.  Though I swear I haven't cuddled a stray dog in years.


  1. As someone who has suffered from severe, cystic acne for the last 10 years, I find it incredibly taxing to step foot into any dermatologists office for fear of being bombarded with the images you cite above. I feel like my condition makes it hard enough to be comfortable going out in public, let alone to be scrutinized by the "pretty" women waiting for a little collagen or some other plumping.

  2. So True! I totally noticed that too! Same with dentists. Big profits are to be made from looks, as if Big Pharma didn't make enough!

    And of curz big profits are to be made from making people feel inadequate.