A woman has revealed how a haircut ‘saved her life’ after a stylist discovered a blue mole on her head, which she had initially mistaken for a pen mark from her son doodling on her.
One year ago, Lee King was having her hair done with best friend Ricci Jess when the 39-year-old noticed an unusual 10 pence-sized mark on her head.
She had initially assumed her seven-year-old son Lucas King had doodled on her head and brushed it off. But after speaking to Ricci, Lee decided to go and get it checked out.
Doctors told the 43-year-old she had a rare type of mole called a blue nevus.
‘The dermatologist took one look and said it was a blue nevus and that he’d never ever seen anything like that in 30 years,’ said Lee. ‘It really scared me.’
But Lee counts herself ‘lucky’ the mole was spotted as she fears it could have become malignant given it grew so rapidly.
‘I developed a 20 cent piece-sized [around 24mm diameter] blue nevus within six months,’ she said. ‘Anything that grows that quickly on your head isn’t ideal, so I was pretty concerned.’
Lee underwent three surgeries to remove the entire mole, which left her with a trail of tight bloody stitches just above her ear, but she said that receiving the results that she was all clear was the ‘best news ever’.
‘I’m a positive person and tried to stay positive, but something like that on your head near the brain makes you freak out a little bit,’ she added.
‘I just wanted it gone. There was a tiny bit left [after the second operation], and he said, “look, we can leave it”, and I said, “no, just get it all off my head. I don’t want it there”.’
After this ‘scary’ ordeal, the mum-of-one from Perth, Australia, is keen to raise awareness about the importance of checking all parts of the body for suspicious marks – including the scalp.
‘The haircut saved my life,’ Lee said.
‘Blue nevi generally aren’t malignant but saying that they’re usually the size of a pinprick and anything that grows that big and that quickly is not good.
‘So it probably would have turned [got bigger and become malignant], and I’m just lucky that it was seen.’
Doctors revealed to Lee that blue nevus is caused by intermittent light. The mole formed on the side of Lee’s head that was exposed to the sun while driving.
What is a blue nevus?
According to Healthline, moles, also called nevi, can appear on your skin in various shapes, sizes, and colours. One type of mole is the blue nevus, which gets its name from its blue colour.
Although these moles may seem unusual, they are generally benign and not a cause for concern. But like any mole, you should keep a close eye on it in case it changes over time.
In some extremely rare cases, a blue nevus may be malignant. Cancerous nevi may appear as common blue nevus but develop at a later age and may start to look like ulcers. They may also have a more nodular or plaque-like form.
Moles that develop during adulthood could be a cause for concern. So if you have a blue nevus or other mole appear after age 30, it is recommended that you see your doctor as it may be a sign of skin cancer like melanoma.
Keeping an eye on any abrupt or subtle changes to your skin and moles will help to ensure that you catch any early signs of skin cancer.
Lee is also advising everyone to wear sunscreen every day and to ‘check your body including your head, especially if you live in countries like Australia’.
‘Most people don’t check their scalps,’ he said. ‘It’s quite funny. My friends are now checking their scalps, so if that’s one thing I can get people to do, it would be good.
‘Just look after yourself because prevention is better than cure.
‘It’s been a long process, and I want to raise awareness of it.
‘I’m sort of getting over it myself as well, it’s been nearly 12 months, but I’m ready to get [this message] out there.’
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