My Skin Cancer Journey

ūüö®WARNING: This post contains graphic photosūüö®

 

 

Serious PSA: Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer, it’s totally preventable, and very treatable if detected early. In fact, 1 out of every 5 people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

 


Growing up in Southern California, I loved living at the beach, spent all of my time outdoors, and stupidly embraced being the blonde, blue-eyed tan beach babe. By the time I was 22 and living the party girl Hollywood lifestyle, I’d embraced the tanning bed with open arms. My daily routine looked like: gym, tanning salon, work, party, sleep, repeat.



When I was 16, I noticed a large odd shaped mole on my moms back that turned out to be stage 3 melanoma. It had started to spread to her muscles, and she had a grapefruit size hole cut into her back. You’d think I’d learn my lesson watching her struggle through that. Grandparents & relatives- same story. There was so much history of skin cancer in my fair skinned, blue eyed, strawberry blond mid-west rooted blood- you’d think I’d be smart!!



It wasn’t until about 7 years ago, I went to see a dermatologist for my problematic acne. She took one look at me (forget about the acne) and asked about my sun exposure history and if I’d ever had a skin check. Of course I hadn’t, which immediately followed with my first major removal, changing the way I lived my life from there on out.

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF:

1. Stay out of indoor tanning beds!! You might as well just sign a death wish today! 


2. Protect your skin outdoors by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, a big ass wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection. (You’ll always find me in my cheap, straw gardener hat!)

 

3. Wear a broad-spectrum, non-chemical based, reef safe, water-resistant sunscreen with an UVA/ UVB SPF of 30 or higher. There are 100’s of fantastic options that aren’t chemical based, meaning they don’t absorb into the skin and are safe for the environment. I love AMAVARA reef-safe tinted zinc based earthwell 50 SPF broad spectrum sunscreen and wear it everyday, even when it’s cloudy! It actually acts like a really good foundation prep and can be worn alone giving you a great tinted coverage. Here’s their handle: @amavaraskincare @amavaraskincare

4. Find a good, reputable dermatologist and get regular skin checks! Catching it early is key! I’ve been through a few dermatologists over the years, and I finally found one that goes above and beyond to keep me on top of my skin care game. I love her! She takes all the anxiety out of skin checks, and offers so many recommendations to keep me from developing new cells. Her name is @chelseafidaimd at Ocean Skin & Vein in Manhattan Beach, CA and I could talk about how great she is ALL DAY!

5. I recently started taking a supplement that was recommended to me by my dermatologist, called Niacinamide. It can improve the skin barrier that helps in reducing the impact of environmental damage. It also plays a role in helping the skin to repair signs of past damage. I just recently started taking it and so far, so good. It’s fairly inexpensive and can be found on Amazon or specialty vitamin suppliers.

6. Spread the word!! So many people don‚Äôt talk about skin cancer, and think just like me- ‚Äúit will never happen to them.‚ÄĚ Keeping the conversation going and sharing stories brings awareness, softens the stigma surrounding cancer‚Ķ..and you never know: You just might help someone else and prevent them from developing it!

 

 

 

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