Where is that skin in the picture located on the body and is it my skin? I guess you’ll have to keep reading to find out.
True Story With A Hickie Side Conversation
I’m changing the names in this post to protect the innocent and the guilty. LOL
Today at work Pam was wearing a little round bandaid on the right cheek of her face. Lisa smiled and said, “Her boyfriend was trying to put a hickie on her cheek,” and the three of us laughed. I followed lightheartedly with, “Why did he stop at your cheek?” which only made us all laugh more.
Pam explained that the doctor had taken a biopsy to ensure that the freckle spot wasn’t cancerous. Ugh. The big C word. We talked a bit about skin and then we went back to the hickies conversation which I’m not going to share with you.
Anyway, it made me start thinking about my own skin. Yeah, my glow-in-the-dark and totally can’t-tan-if-my-life-depended-on-it skin. I’ve been envious all my life of people with beautiful bronze tans. I see these people stretched out in the sun in cute bathing suits and know that I will never experience that healthy glow unless it comes out of a bottle. Even then the tanning products usually turn me a shade of orange that remains for about a week because that layer of skin sloughs off.
Don’t Feel Sorry For Yourself
I don’t feel sorry for myself because I can’t be bronze skinned. Nope. I may envy, but I would have been and would still be in the sun ALL the time if I was able to tan. Now that I’m older, there are some statistics that make me thankful I wasn’t able to tan.
Approximately 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanomas are associated with the ultraviolet radiation people get by being exposed to sunlight.
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
Does that surprise you?
It shocked me that the percentage was that high.
Sun Protection To Assist In Skin Cancer Prevention
Just because it isn’t sunny doesn’t mean you are safe from ultraviolet rays. The harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun penetrate clouds and cause the same kind of damage to the skin. Even in the shade on a sunny day, ultraviolet rays reflect off the surfaces of water, sand, cement, glass, and snow. Don’t think that using a tanning bed helps you escape the ultraviolet rays because they are in there too.
There are many ways that we can protect our skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, so don’t feel like you are fighting a losing battle.
- Clothing – Clothes are your first line of defense against ultraviolet rays. Keep you skin covered with loose-fitting, dark, tightly woven long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Darker shades absorb ultraviolet light better than light colored cotton fabrics.
- Sunglasses – Choose sunglasses that are big enough to protect the eyes, eyelids and around the eyes. The sunglasses need to be durable, impact resistant and polarized to eliminate glare. Sunglasses should also absorb and block 100 per cent of the UVA and UVB rays.
- Hats – Hats should have at least a three inch brim all around the entire hat. This will block up to half of all UVB rays from your face. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, is the best material to protect your skin from ultraviolet rays. Don’t rely on straw hats with holes that let sunlight through because they are not as protective. Just like clothing, darker hats seem to offer more ultraviolet protection.
- Shade – Stay inside during the hottest hours of the day and be careful to also avoid reflective sunlight. Hats are really important shade for the head especially for bald people. It is very unhealthy to get a sunburned head. Shade can be found under patio covers, trees, awnings and if you are like my mother or Mary Poppins, umbrellas.
- Sunscreen – It is suggested that we use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with SPF15 or higher every single day. When planning to be outside for extended outdoor activities, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen rated SPF30 or higher. Don’t forget to reapply often and don’t forget the ears, lips, under the chin and on top of the feet. I use SPF100. Does that tell you anything about my skin?
- Tanning Beds – Getting an indoor tan in a tanning bed has been proven to promote skin cancer. Actually, indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than people who have never tanned in a tanning bed. It is bad for you.
- Sunbathing – I know your tan is beautiful, but no one should sunbathe whether they can tan or are so fair that they refuse to believe they can’t tan. To make matters worse, if you slather on tanning oils to enhance the effects of ultraviolet rays and deepen the tan, you are just making it worse for you skin and upping the chance of a sunburn. It is like throwing yourself into a pot of cooking oil. It isn’t good.
- No Burning – A sunburn is never good. Skin damage and sunburns happen with every unprotected exposure and the damage accumulates over a lifetime. A sunburn does permanent damage. Avoid getting burned…ever.
Do I think people are going to stop getting tans just because I put it on the list of preventative measures that will help reduce the chance of skin cancer?
Um…no, but I have hope.
I almost forgot…You wanted to know where that skin picture is located on the body and if it was mine. Yes, it is mine. I have a natural pink hue. Woohoo. LOL I’m just going to let you wonder where that skin is located. Besides, all the rest of my skin looks the same as that sampling. I did learn one thing about my skin from taking that picture. Even skin that has never seen the sun still has very faded freckles.