Friday, September 08, 2006

Sunny Little Lesions of Death

Is this you?

One of my favorite bloggers, dooce, has been addressing the issue of skin cancer recently. She had a nasty one on her arm that has been removed (twice) now AND has shared both the emotional upheaval this involves (you try dealing with the news that cancerous cells that could spread thoughout your entire body are residing on your arm!) as well as the super gross photos. It’s very don’t-let-this-happen-to-you stuff.

It's bizarre to me that a lot of people of my generation still don’t seem to take the threat seriously. Especially if they tan “well” - I think they figure that’s a get-out-of-jail-free card. Considering that the atmosphere is just getting progressively more screwed up and that sun exposure will probably become more and more serious as this progresses, EVERYONE should worry. Members of my family worry more than most - we are fair skinned and cancer prone. But I know someone with skin that browns to a "healthy" glowing tan - and she just had a large skin cancer removed. The ability to tan does NOT exempt you from risk.

If the threat of little lesions of death growing on your body doesn’t sway you, think about this: Women who wear sunblock and avoid harmful sun exposure LOOK YOUNGER. Putting sunscreen on every day ensures that you will have fewer wrinkles and be ten times more likely to have some guy make the “Oh! That’s your DAUGHTER? I thought she was your SISTER.” compliments to you later in life - without everyone around you bursting into peals of derisive laughter.

Have you seen the leatherface women? Come ON, we have ALL seen the leatherface women. The character Magda in “Something About Mary” was funny because we have all seen that woman at some point. Maybe you aren’t THAT exessive in your sun eposure, but do you really want to have even a teeny tiny bit of that effect going on?

So if you won’t wear sunscreen to avoid icky death spots, then do it for your vanity. Make the world a more beautiful place - preserve your skin. As Mary Schmich said - amdist a great deal of other noteworthy advice - in her famous column,

“ Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.”

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