Girls, girls, girls.
We've grown up in a world where "tan is sexy" and "pale is gross." This makes me very sad. Not only do we have expectations that every woman should wear 10 pounds of make-up or spend thousands of dollars on designer clothes to be pretty, but now we've got this mindset that we must be TAN at all costs, even if that cost is our life.
As much as it bothers me to be pale compared to most other girls my age, I've never really given in to the tanning craze, whether fake-baking or baking in the sun. I've always been extremely careful about exposing my skin to the sun and have never worn any sunscreen under SPF 45. Because of this, I've maybe had 3 sunburns in my entire life, and unfortunately, all of them were severe.
However, skin cancer can come from more than just too much sun or too much time in the tanning bed. For people like me, who are almost never outdoors without sunscreen, there are other ways skin cancer can make it's attack.
I've always been "freckled" with moles, as many people are, but never thought anything about them until I saw an episode of House where his patient was extremely sick and they couldn't figure out the cause. Turns out it was a dark mole hiding between his toes. This patient had skin cancer and it was making him deathly sick.
Since that day, I've been checking my skin periodically, just to make sure none of my moles were getting into trouble. But when I noticed a new, very dark mole between my toes I knew it was time for me to go see a dermatologist.
I made my appointment and saw the dermatologist on July 3rd. She did a basic skin check where they look between your toes, on your scalp, under your arms...everywhere. She was impressed that I had no signs of skin cancer, given my pale skin and susceptibility to skin damage, and so was I! She reminded me to keep an eye on any moles I considered suspicious and after reminding me to come in for a skin check annually, she walked me out and reminded me to "Keep wearing that sunscreen!"
It's very important to take care of your skin, just like you'd take care of the rest of your body. Do you exercise, eat healthy, and visit a doctor for check-ups? Do you brush your teeth every day to avoid cavities? Then why wouldn't you also want to take care of your body by protecting it from the sun's harmful rays and seeing a dermatologist? I understand how easy it is for us to give in to looking great in the eyes of society, but you've got one body and one life. Take care of it, even if that means giving up the tanning bed.
Visit Sun Savvy for more information or feel free to email me privately if you have questions, comments, or concerns.