Usually around this time of year local news stations do a story on sun exposure and the use of sunscreen. It surprises me the number of people interviewed who think that it’s a) okay to bake in the sun for hours on end with nothing but coconut oil on and b) will do this without any kind of sun protection whatsoever and c) that any issues related to sitting in the sun will at some unspecified time in the future be taken care of with Botox. At this point in the interview they usually laugh, lather on some more oil and continue to bake.
The sooner people disavow themselves of this illusion the better. I can guarantee you that although Botox might be able to help you with the wrinkles you’ll get as a result of sun exposure it definitely won’t help you with the cancer that you are at much higher risk to get. Melanoma is cancer. You get it through exposure to the sun. In early stages it can be removed through surgery but if it has spread to other parts of your body than what you have is full blown cancer that has to be treated through the usual cancer channels ie; radiation, chemotherapy etc…This can happen to anyone at any age.
I was very lucky because I had another issue that my normal GP couldn’t fix so I went to another doctor. My GP did look at my mole, however and said it looked “normal even though I told her this mole had appeared out of nowhere and had grown quite fast. I subsequently went to another doctor for another issue, showed the mole to her as an afterthought and she immediately recommended me to a surgeon to have it removed.
When I went to the surgeon he looked at it and thought there was nothing wrong with the mole. He actually implied that I was wasting his time but since I was there he would go ahead with it anyways. A week later I got a phone call saying that the mole was malignant and that I had melanoma. Thank god I caught it early enough and it was removed surgically. The initial mole was removed and when it proved to be malignant the surgeon went in again to cut a wide margin around the area in order to remove all cancerous cells.
Even though I have a much higher chance of developing further malignancies I thank god for two things: Dave who urged me to get it checked and for a doctor who knew what she was doing. If I had ignored it, or gone with the original diagnosis from my GP I would be in a completely different place in my life right now. I would have a life threatening illness. I used to be a sun worshipper. I thought it was harmless and that it made me look healthy. Nothing is further than the truth.
So. Go out and buy some sunscreen. My dermatologist gives me Ombrelle. Lather it on before you go outside, even if your just going out for a short walk. Lather it on repeatedly during the day. If you need to bake outside in the sun, bring sunscreen, glasses and hat and sit under an umbrella. Save yourself the trouble of giving yourself skin cancer.