But not the kind that will kill you. Hopefully. I don't share this to be dramatic but to raise awareness.
My last two years as a pharmaceutical sales rep, I called exclusively on dermatologists. I learned and witnessed a lot in those offices. The skin is so visible and the damage is literally in your face sometimes. As a late twenty-something, I vowed to take better care of my skin but do you know that 80% of skin damage occurs before the age of 18? Moms, please protect your kids. Here's my story.
Two weeks ago I went in for my annual skin check at my dermatologist. (Honestly, I went in for reasons more related to vanity but opted to face responsibility while I was there.) She noticed a suspicious spot on my back, biopsied it and a week later (during my beach vacation no less) she called to tell me it was a basal cell carcinoma, a non-melanoma, slow growing form of skin cancer.
I wasn't completely surprised considering my fair complexion and carelessness as a teenager. I worked as a lifeguard for several summers and frequented the tanning bed, despite the known dangers. Self tanners were just gaining popularity. Nevertheless, I was a bit sad. I felt like time was catching up with me. The ignorance of my youth was rearing its ugly head. Last week, my dermatologist completely removed the growth. The spot is still very tender but healing. I'm left with a scar about the size of a nickel and a new appreciation for preventative medicine.
The month of May happens to be skin cancer awareness month. I also can't help but share this video. Please take a minute to watch it because it's much more eloquent than my writing.
Wear your sunscreen and take care of you skin. I'll be talking skin care all week here on the blog from self tanners to cover ups as we approach summer. Also, if you live in the Atlanta area and looking for a dermatologist, I highly recommend Dr. Alan Olansky, or his physician assistant who did my procedure.
Love the skin you're in.
*original image found here