By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
I've avoided anything resembling plastic surgery for ages, mainly because I'm cheap, I hate pain, journalism isn't a beauty contest, and I feel there's only so much that can be done anyway. My only foray into the cosmetic enhancement arena came in the '90s, when I had a doctor inject collagen in my lips so I could write about it, though I was only able to do so after I was revived with smelling salts. (The anesthetic was mixed in with the collagen, so you were numbed as you were being terrorized. It hurt like the devil!)
But recently, my facial moles were getting so prominent that on TV I was beginning to look like an aging Italian fishwife (which I am), and this seemed to require immediate action. Concerned, I descended on a Tribeca dermatologist for help, and he promptly told me there were two options: Either remove the moles entirely and then stitch up the holes, which would leave scarring (which he said sometimes looks even worse than the moles ever did) or simply flatten them with a small device that's the facial equivalent of a floor sander. The moles would probably grow back eventually, but at least for some time I'd just have flat brown spots, not bulbous orbs (which I somehow never wore with the elan of, let's say, Cindy Crawford).
I went for the latter procedure, which took all of five minutes and cost a sizable but not life-threatening $200 per mole. The process? First he pricked me with the anesthetic (painlessmy skin is thicker than my lips), then sanded the things down with something that looked like a scaled-down WaterPik as if my face were a SoHo loft being renovated for resale. I felt nothing, but I did smell the stench of burning flesh, which was lovely; it meant the moles were literally being razed into thin air. The only problem was that for about 10 days afterwards, I had two reddish crevices where there used to be orbs, and they looked so borderline-icky I wanted my money back. What's more, I wanted my moles back!
Fortunately, the spots ended up sort of healing to the point where I may look BETTER than Cindy Crawford (if not as lovely as Enrique Iglesias, whoever the trendsetterde-moled himself before I did). This could become addicting. Next stop: Butt stapling!