Don’t be like me. Always wear sunscreen.
I’m an (almost) 50-year-old woman who grew up in Texas during the 1980s. It is only a matter of time before I get skin cancer.
Weren’t the 1980s fabulous?
It was all big highlighted hair, makeup, and bronze bodies.
I remember every Spring Break hoping it would be warm enough to start on my tan. And I needed to start on that tan as early as I could because it takes a lot for this pale white girl to turn a beautiful bronze color.
It is almost comical to think about it now.
We would slather our bodies with Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil, spray our hair with Sun-In, and then lie out in the sun to let the sun do its work.
Think about that for a moment. A body covered in coconut oil with a spritz of lemon juice roasting in the sun.
We were essential Rotisserie Chickens.
It is horrific to think about now, but it was perfectly normal in the 1980s.
By the time it became common knowledge that sun exposure cause skin cancer, I had already had at least two severe sunburns.
By my mid-forties, I started having skin problems on my face. I finally went to the dermatologist when I had several problem spots on my face. They all looked different, but the diagnosis was the same. They were precancerous spots.
Instead of zapping each spot, my dermatologist suggested an alternative treatment. For two weeks I had the pleasure of putting chemo-cream on my face.
After the first week, all those precancer spots started rising to the surface. Think of the worst chapped skin you have ever had. Then think about that chapped skin being your entire face.
It was not fun. And it didn’t take care of all the spots. A biopsy of a spot on my nose left a crater behind that has taken over a year to heal.
For the rest of my life, at least once a year I will be at the dermatologist to be checked from head to toe for new cancer spots.
Always Wear Sunscreen
Don’t be like me. Please. Always Wear Sunscreen.
Read all 50 pieces of advice I shared in honor of my 50th birthday.