Thursday, March 24, 2011

Skin Care & Sun Exposure

I am going to start blogging about the importance of sun exposure and skin care. As you can see by my pictures I have a very light complexion. I drew up in the southwest and burned quite easily as a child, especially on our beach vacations. My parents were pretty good about teaching us the importance of wearing sunscreen and covering up in the sun, but I still got some pretty bad sunburns. I've always been concerned about my chances for developing skin cancer, even though I am now pretty vigilant about putting on sun block and staying out of the sun.

About a month ago I noticed a new spot on my neck. I showed a few people that are knowledgeable about these things and they thought it was non-cancerous. I felt confident that it's nothing, but I still made an appointment for a full body scan as suggested by my primary care physician last year.

I had my appointment today and I was able to discuss all my concerns with the NP that I saw. She was SUPER nice and supportive. She said the place on my neck is just fine (even though it's not super pretty) and told that some other spots that I am concerned about are fine. (Can't remember the term for those!) She did find one suspicious spot on my the side of my lower leg and biopsied it. I got 3 stitches (it was VERY small!) and will get the results when I go back in 8 days to get the stitches out. I didn't ask what her concern level was because there isn't anything I can do about it. Either it is cancerous or not. Worrying about it won't change things. If it is, we will take the necessary steps to eradicate it and move on with our lives. Either way, I am going to continue to be vigilant about my sun exposure now. I am pretty good about staying out the sun and putting sun screen on, but I am going to get some UV clothing and do a better job. I am going to step it up for my kids too. They don't burn in the sun like I do, but I am going to make sure they wear sunscreen and swim shirts all the time.