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Post in Skincare Aware

Wear Your Sunscreen!

I'm fair skinned of Irish descent. Unfortunately I've had a few really bad sunburns over the years because I was foolish/careless and didn't wear sunscreen or didn't reapply it often enough.


Four weeks ago I visited a dermatologist for something that turned out to be nothing, but while I was there, he gave me a full body exam.  There were two places that he had concerns.  One was a spot on my leg, the other was on my nose.


The nose was the easy part as there were signs of precancerous cells, but nothing that looked like cancer. I was prescribed a chemotherapy cream with all sorts of dire warnings, and had to apply it twice a day for 20 days. My nose looked like it had the worst chemical peel burns ever, and it was very sore. The good news was that all of those precancerous cells were "burned" away and as long as I wear sunblock and a hat when I'll be in the sun for more than five minutes or so, I'll be fine.  I'm allowed to wear makeup again, and the only thing I'm doing differently for another week or so is avoiding scrubs and vitamin C and things that can irritate tender skin.


My leg was another story.  He did a small biopsy which came back as melanoma.  This morning he cut a peach pit sized section out of my leg, hoping to clear the area of all cancer.  I'll know if it was successful in about a week.


I'll have to be very careful for the rest of my life, and be screened annually.  Don't be a goofball like me and think it can't happen to you.  Almost 100,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year, and those numbers are on the rise.  The easiest way to avoid being part of that statistic is to avoid prolonged sun exposure, and to always wear sun block.  

Re: Wear Your Sunscreen!

@flamingolegs I'm sorry this has happened to you. I appreciate you sharing what is going on so others can see the importance. My mom has been through something similar and gets checked by her derm regularly.

Re: Wear Your Sunscreen!

Thank goodness you went to a dermatologist and that he was so thorough! Best wishes for a good result after your next visit!

And thank you for reminding us all to use sunscreen regularly and by example, to visit a dermatologist if there are any questionable issues on our skin. I also went to a doctor about a spot and she found another one - luckily both of mine were not melanoma and I just had them burned off. I now probably spend more on sunscreen than I do on any other skin product!

Re: Wear Your Sunscreen!

I am sorry to hear that you had to experience this. However, thank you for sharing. UV rays are no joke and everyone should be wearing sunscreen as you have mentioned. I gotta start being more diligent about reapplication...

I am just glad that your doctor caught it. Wishing you good news and a speedy recovery!

Re: Wear Your Sunscreen!

OMG, @flamingolegs, I am so sorry & I really hope they have gotten it all and that you are going to be okay!  I am over half Irish too and though I am great about sunscreen now, I certainly wasn't in my younger years.  I do try to see a dermatologist regularly (have an appt next week actually) for mole checks because I did have have precancerous cells on my forehead in the past.  I wish you all the best in your healing process!!

Re: Wear Your Sunscreen!

@flamingolegs I'm sorry to hear that - sending good vibes I hope everything is okay!

Re: Wear Your Sunscreen!

I hope everything turns out well for you @flamingolegs. I'm fair and living in Florida I worry that the sun is much more intense than when I grew up in Ohio. I try my best to always apply and reapply but I'm sure I made mistakes. I probably should get checked out by a professional. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us all to be safe with our skin.

Re: Wear Your Sunscreen!

@flamingolegs  Wishing you the best of post-surgery luck! I hope your doctor got it all! ❤️ 


Also, for folks with deeper skin tones like me: if you’ve heard and believed that melanin-rich skin can’t get cancer, purge that lie from your head ASAP. That’s one of the worst long-running skincare myths I’ve ever heard. It’s one thing to just be lazy about wearing sunscreen (a very bad habit I had in my teens and 20s), but it’s worse to believe you don’t need sunscreen because of your skin tone—especially if you’ve helped circulate that myth to other folks. As any responsible medical doctor will tell you: wear sunscreen whenever you’re out in the sun, no matter how fair or deep your skin tone is. Even on overcast days. 


And after applying sunscreen to your face, remember to slather that stuff on any other exposed skin. This includes the back of your neck if it’s exposed to sunlight. 

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