Sun Protection and Your Skin

Well, sun care has become a factor in my life. I have a real fear of being outside now. Since I live in the desert, the sun is brutal. I have become a shadow walker. Home is my refuge, and I look outside a lot at how pretty it seems out there. And let’s be honest. Its 106 degrees out there right now. I am not feeling the overwhelming urge to get out there and frolic. It’s hot, I am fat, and I am good in the house. Our A/C rocks.

I started researching sun care products, and I have come across a few things that I want to share.

First, growing up, my house had a pool. I am blonde hair, blue eyed and fair. But growing up, a deep, dark suntan was what I was always striving for. Baby oil and iodine was my elixir of choice. I would slather that on and let the sun fry my skin. More than once, I would end up with blisters from a nasty burn, and I would be out there again the next weekend. All summer long, I was laying out by the pool or at the beach.

Now, if I knew then what I know now, I would NEVER have done that. I would have never laid out, always put on sunblock, and stayed in the shade. Could’ve’s, would’ve’s, and should’ve’s, right? I could seriously kick myself in the ass now. What an idiot I was!

Most of the sun damage you do to your skin is done when you are a child. It takes years to develop into skin cancer. So, what I am reaping today could have started 40+ years ago. And let’s face it. The 70’s and 80’s were not known for skin protection. And, of course, I always thought “it will never happen to me!” Surprise! Bad decisions still have a way of rearing their ugly heads. And this one seems to be a serpent with a lot of heads.

However, this is nothing I can change. I cannot turn back time, I can’t undo the damage I have done. But what I can do is protect myself from this point forward. When you are diagnosed with skin cancer, you are told that you are now susceptible to getting more. In fact, you have a 60% chance of getting it again within 10 years. And a 61.5% chance of getting it back after having a second one.

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, “If you’re one of the millions of people who have been diagnosed for the first time with either a basal cell carcinoma or a squamous cell carcinoma (also called BCC and SCC, the major nonmelanoma types of skin cancer), you have better than even odds of getting another. About 60 percent of people who have had one skin cancer will be diagnosed with a second one within 10 years, says a 2015 study in JAMA Dermatology,” (Skin Cancer Foundation, 2018.)

So, here is where I am going to get a bit preachy. SUNSCREEN, HATS, COVER UP! Parents, coat those babies in sunscreen from the first time they will be out in the sun. Coat yourselves when you are outside. Weeding, gardening, and washing your car are all ways to get a burn when you are not even thinking about it. Throw a hat on, use sunscreen. I have found the sprays don’t protect as well as a lotion. Find one with AT LEAST 30spf to wear. I have found an excellent one to wear on my face by EltaMD.

eltamd

I use the tinted and its a perfect match for me. Goes on easy, smooth, and light. This one is recommended by most dermatologists. Its about $27.00 a bottle but it lasts a long time. You don’t have to use much.

And for your body, I like this one from the same maker:

eltamd2

Some clothing that is actually made for sun protection is made by Coolibar. There are some cute things in there, and the hats are adorable.

Coolibar, sun protection you wear

And finally, if you see a spot on you and it doesn’t look or act right? Get to the dermatologist pronto. They can put you at ease and possibly stop something before it starts. If you have a partner, have them look at your back regularly. It’s an area that you cannot see, but they can. Melanoma can kill you. Squamous cell is highly invasive and Basal cell can invade and cause damage. Wouldn’t you want to catch that before more damage is done?

 

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