The Smell of Burnt Me

I went to the doctor today for a mole-check. I used to sunbathe like a madman back when I was young, stupid, and living in Florida. I’ve had more body-spanning sunburns than most people have had haircuts. As I grow older, I’m noticing more moles, and I’m acutely aware that I’m in the high-risk group for skin cancer.

These aren’t massive, hairy, old-man moles, mind you. These are just ordinary moles. But they’re NEW, and I figure it can’t hurt to check ’em out. Also, I had a couple of mole-ish lumps they call “skin tags” I figured we’d have looked at as well.

All is well. The doctor had a look at things, and said that none of my many discolored speckles were anything to be worried about, but that it WAS a good idea for me to come in from time to time, especially if something new cropped up. He checked out the skin tags, and said they were just a cosmetic matter. Slave to vanity that I am, I said I’d like to have them removed anyway, so he rolled in his mole-zapping machine.

I really, really, REALLY wish these things had been on my belly, or my knee, or someplace OTHER than my back so that I could have seen what was going on. See, after anesthetizing the spot (THAT hurt) he stuck a needle in and electrified it so that sparks jumped through the skin tag burning it up. When he started on the second of them I realized I could smell burning hair. At least, it smelled like burning hair, and I was stupidly surprised to discover that burning skin smells the same way. I expected burnt me to smell somehow.. ‘wetter.’ More like a barbecue, and less like unsuccessfully stepping away after lighting the grill.

Anyway, that was today’s adventure. I got bandaids!


10 thoughts on “The Smell of Burnt Me”

  1. Heh. the last skin tag that I had removed was done with a can of compressed air turned upside down.

    And I paid $100 for the doctor to freeze my skin off like that. I was expecting him to take a scapel and cut it off, not freeze it off.

    Worst part was that it got gross and smelly a few days afterwards. I won’t say any more on it though.

  2. heh heh – yeah, when I was a pre-med student, I observed a hysterectomy. The blood and everything didn’t bother me – but I wasn’t expecting the cauterization thingy, and the smell of burning human flesh is not something I will forget anytime soon.

  3. Well, you don’t HAVE to go to the doctor to smell Barbequed Cartoonist. Just make a slip with your fancy grill! 😉

    High Risk Groups for cancer are no fun. Glad to see you’re keeping a close eye on it!

  4. My father is in that skin cancer prone group; but he’s along into the precancerous lesions stage of skin bumps. To hear him tell it; when he goes in to get them removed, the dermatologist drizzles him lightly with liquid nitrogen.

  5. was it worth it?

    I have a number of those annoying skin tags as well. Not really looking forward to the removal process, as I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to most sorts of pain. Most of my tags are in the armpit area. As somebody who’s been through it, would you say it was worth it?

    1. Re: was it worth it?

      The anesthesia was the worst part. Now I just have some mildly annoying scabs. The zapping process nicely cauterized the holes, too.


      1. Re: was it worth it?

        I had, for years, a tag on my left eyelid. So I decide to get it removed, and I’m thinking, “You know, I really don’t want a needle poked into my eyelid.”
        “Well,” says my doctor, “I can do it without anesthesia.”
        “Sure. Go ahead.”
        “Don’t twitch,” he says.
        I twitched. I snapped out, “SHITE!” in a long drawn-out way.
        “You twitched,” was his erudite comment.
        Got it off, though, and no needle in the eyelid.

    2. Re: was it worth it?

      There is a do-it-yourself method of skin tag removal without much pain involved, but getting at the tags where you have them may be problematic. Take a length of dental floss and form a loop, tying it to pretty much make a noose with two leads you can pull to close it. Noose the offending tag and tighten – this can be done in steps to limit pain. Once properly tight, it’ll choke off blood to tag and the tag will slough off in a few days.

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