Why you Should get Your Moles Checked Right now

I used to go on sunbeds at 14. I’m not trying to say that to act hard, in fact, the whole reason for this article is to DISCOURAGE you from doing stupid stuff like this. I am simply trying to give you an insight into growing up in Essex in the mid-2000s where having a tan was simply EVERYTHING. When you are that age, you think you are indestructible, so when we found a sunbed shop that didn’t seem to be particularly bothered we went in wearing our school uniforms, we thought we’d hit the jackpot. Granted, it wasn’t the most professional establishment. Pitsea sunbed shop was always kind of like “get undressed, knock on the door, and you might get a sunbed if you are lucky”. At that age, we didn’t see how potentially dangerous this was. To be honest, we were more concerned about which person we were going to coerce into getting our alcohol for that weekend.

In case anyone wondered, it’s actually illegal for anyone under 18 to have sunbeds in the UK. I shouldn’t imagine that is very enforceable.

Up until my mid-20s, when I took my first trip to the Philippines, I didn’t think much about our culture of being obsessed with having a tan. You wanted to look nice, you got a tan. The end. You only need to watch some old TOWIE’s to see what lengths people will go to for a summer glow. Then I entered and lived in a world for three months where being as pale as possible was the height of beauty. I’d regularly get called beautiful (I’m really not) just for being pale. One of my favourite pastimes was sitting in the afternoon sun in the Coffee Academy in Angeles City, but the security guard would frequently come out and offer me an umbrella. I found it IMPOSSIBLE to get face moisturiser anywhere without literally whitening stuff in it. In parts of Asia, the culture is that if you have a tan you “work outside” and are of a lower class. White skin is literally their highest standard of beauty, much like us feeling like having a tan is.

With this fascinating insight about other cultures going straight over my head, the day I came back from my three month trip to the Philippines I went on a sunbed to top up the tan I had got there.

Idiot right?

So what finally got me to stop being obsessed with a tan?

Like many people who learn the hard way, it was a skin cancer scare. I was minding my own business walking through a shopping centre with a playsuit on, when my friend’s sister, who is a Doctor, asked me if I had ever got the mole on the back of my leg checked. It was news to me I even had a mole there, but it did look a bit dark, so I thought there was no harm in getting it checked out.

When I went to the doctor, he was, as he is with everything, fairly laid back. “We’ll just get it out and do a biopsy just in case”. I wasn’t worried. Would rather have something cut out “just in case”. I was more worried about the procedure than the results because I have been terrified of needles ever since I had my toe sewn back on working in Greece, I have been terrified of needles. Nonetheless, off the mole came and I have to admit, I was a bit surprised about how much they took off around it but EVEN THEN I still didn’t clock there could be any form of problem. I just got on with letting it heal (although it did get infected as I was warned by the nurse not to have a bath and I thought, who is she, a registered medical professional with years experience to tell ME, Kelly Jackson, Not to have a bath. Result: infection).

Fast forward a couple of weeks later and I was sitting at my desk in London when my Doctor called. Well, the receptionist called and asked if I could come in straight away. Considering I was in Great Portland Street around two hours away and they closed in an hour it didn’t seem massively feasible. She advised me to come in ASAP, and dear reader, at this point, I was still like “Jesus Joan get off my case”. When I got to the Doctors, I finally got the news that was staring at me in the face: if the mole hadn’t have been removed, it would have become cancerous. I stared dumbly at my Doctor and pathetically said “Well I’m not very careful in the sun, but I guess I will be from now on”. He just looked at me as if to say “too right you will, you monumental bellend”. All I achieved from my years of tanning effort was a scar on the back of my leg that looks considerably like a bumhole.

Since then, having a tan doesn’t seem as glamorous as it did when I was 14. I’d rather not die at 35 just to be the same colour as my coffin. The most random thing is, I use factor 50 now, and I actually get a better-looking tan than when I used to use various tanning oils and sunbeds.

If you want a guide on how to check your moles, Bupa has one here.

Feel free to also follow me on Twitter and TikTok


One response to “Why you Should get Your Moles Checked Right now”

  1. […] yourself for this, focus on the positives. My most recent positive is that I wrote a post about getting your moles checked and quite a few people have clicked through to the link I used pointing to a website that shows […]


Love to know your thoughts guys?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: