A Public Health PSA

Terrible title, I know. But please read it.

Last week I had a cyst removed from my forehead. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be posting any pictures of it. I thought about it, but decided none of you wanted to see that. This thing had been bothering me forever. I mean, it’s visible in my wedding photos! Luckily it turned out to be non-cancerous. To get this thing finally removed, I went to both my dermatologist and a specialist in Center City Philadelphia. The overarching theme I heard from the staff in both locations was that they were thrilled I was taking care of this. They all said that too many men let their self-care go until it became a problem. Little did they know, I was one of these men.

Like I said, there is evidence of this cyst going back to my wedding day. In actuality, It was probably there a lot longer. Without placing too much blame on my parents, this is probably because professions like dermatology, acupuncture, and psychology were all viewed as some sort of quack occupation in my house growing up. Dermatologists were acne “doctors” for teenagers, but acne is just part of teenage life. Psychologists were just a person people pay to listen to them whine about their lives. Of course, none of this is true. Annual dermatological body checks are a great way to prevent skin cancer from killing you. I am convinced my son wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my wife’s acupuncture. And I personally know how much my therapy has helped me over the past several years work towards being the person I want to be. But with ingrained views like those I learned growing up, my twenties were filled with “missed” appointments and unscheduled check-ups.

Look, going to see the doctor sucks. It takes a big bite out of your day. It usually costs some money. You might even get some bad news and find out you have a real problem to deal with. But not going sucks even more. Not going can lead to major health issues. Not going is not attractive. You think that girl you’re hitting on finds not going to the dentist sexy? Probably not. And if she does? Well, maybe you shouldn’t be hitting on her.

So this is my request. Schedule and actually go to your annual physical. If something is hurting you, tell a doctor. If you don’t like something about your appearance, ask a professional for recommendations on what can be done. Take care of yourself, please.

Eight stitches and an inch-long scar later, I’m happier than I’ve ever been about how my face looks.


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