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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest remedies for health anxiety

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Dr. Asmeet Kaur Sawhney

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 3843 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 29 Nov 2017 in General Health
Question: Hello Dr. Sawhney!! You were wonderful in allaying some health anxiety over some skin issues several months ago, so I thought I'd consult with you on another neurotic question pertaining to my son. Unfortunately, a combination of my health anxiety and BIG mistake of consulting "Dr. Google" has my mind imagining the worst with regard to my son. My son XXXXXXX is 19 years old and has no diagnosed medical issues. I noticed back when he was about eight or ten years old that he had a mark resembling a cafe any lait mark on his back, in the upper shoulder area. I had always asked the pediatrician to look at it during his yearly physicals, and they made nothing of it. Throughout the years it has grown a bit, and has became darker and more rough in texture. It is probably slightly less than an inch in length and looks like a few small lesions grouped together. Again, I've brought it to the pediatrician's attention and he was not concerned. This past July I made an appointment for him and my other son with a dermatologist for a skin exam, and I pointed out the spots which I wanted checked in particular. We met with the physicians assistant there, and my younger son had a peculiar spot I pointed out, of which the PA conducted a shave biopsy, which came back as a mildly atypical junctional nevus. For my older son XXXXXXX I pointed out the spot on his back/shoulder, and the PA diagnosed it as a linear epidermal nevus. She said the chances of it becoming dangerous are slim to none, it may darken throughout the years, and they will simply monitor it at yearly visits. Unfortunately, neurotic mom, yours truly, went on to google epidermal nevus and of course I ran into information showing a possible link to epidermal nevus syndrome and all of its associated neurological and skeletal defects. As I said, XXXXXXX is 19 and has no medical issues, is extremely intelligent, etc. His right shoulder tends to look lower than the left (neurotic mom here thinks skeletal issues!) but mine is actually like that as well, and I think it's due to his carrying heavy backpacks on that shoulder. In your opinion, is it safe to say that I should not be concerned about those syndromes...I presume it's primarily related to numerous and systemic epidermal nevi, which he does not have, and I would think it would have presented by now? And my last even more neurotic question (I will no longer google medical conditions anymore!!!) ... of course my neurotic online research led me to some information saying that a certain type of epidermal nevus (epidermolytic??) could be related to a gene mutation that could be passed along to offspring, with them having possible serious skin scaling conditions, etc. Again, he has just one solitary small epidermal nevus. No biopsy was done, as the PA did not feel it was necessary. Do you feel there is any need for me to worry about that potential genetic mutation? Thank you so much for reading my long and neurotic question.....just when you thought you'd probably seen and heard it all, along comes a google-induced neurotic question (any other parent probably would have just taken a note of what the Derm said for what it was, and just been reassured at that point!).
doctor
Answered by Dr. Asmeet Kaur Sawhney 59 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Not related to epidermal naevus syndrome

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Thanks for being at Healthcaremagic
I have gone through your entire history and understand your concern.
There is nothing to worry about as a single epidermal naevus is a very common condition and I don't think it fits into the diagnosis of epidermal naevus syndrome as it is charactersised by multiple naevi along with systemic manifestations.
Also I don't think you should be concerned about gene mutation as it is a very rare occurence and chances of transmission to the offspring are even rarer.
Just relax and destress yourself as your child is having a simple epidermal naevus which is a very common benign condition.
Regards
Dr Asmeet
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Asmeet Kaur Sawhney 8 hours later
Oh Dr. Sawhney....I cannot thank you enough for once again being there for me to provide reassurance and allay my concerns. I was doing much better with my health anxiety but as with any struggles, this caused a bit of a setback. I have to be stricter with myself with not even thinking of turning to google for information on these health matters, as it invariably turns up rare and scary scenarios. You would think that I would have learned my lesson by now! It means the world to me to have a doctor such as yourself break it right back down and put it into rational perspective!!

You are truly a godsend and I cannot thank you enough!!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Asmeet Kaur Sawhney 43 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Welcome

Detailed Answer:
It is the duty of the doctor to guide the patient in right direction and allay any unwanted anxieties.
All the best!!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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