Ever seen that golden skin and been like, I want that, running the next day to a beach or trying those indoor suntan places, over and over again till you get that perfect shade?
Well more than beauty, that could be doing you more harm than good, warns Judy Cloud, from Indiana. She learnt a hard lesson on how important it is to protect your skin when lying on those tanning beds under the sun.
Judy, now 49, started using tanning beds or going to tanning salons, when she was in her 20’s, for about once a week, around three to four weeks over the year, right before she went on a holiday.
Moreover, she also recalls times as child, when she used to play outside in the sun with just a simple coat of baby oil on herself instead of sunscreen. In those days, a more innocent time, the sun was not really known to have such an impact.1
But, on one day in 1995, she found a funny looking spot under her eye, which was not bigger than the head of a pen-cap. Occasionally bleeding and scabbing, it never fully healed itself.
Soon after, she got more of them and undergoing surgeries to get rid of those spots that riddled her legs, chest, face, arms and shoulders.
She has recently undergone her fourth surgery to eliminate the skin cancer from her system, with about 30 areas that have been removed over the past 20 years. While her recent surgery involved removing skin from around 23 areas, costing her about $27,000.
The affected areas, of Judy’s skin apparently had basal cell carcinoma. The American Cancer Society says that this is one of the most common forms of skin cancer, usually occurring due to areas exposed to the sun usually, face and neck. It usually starts with one spot but the person affected will start to see new spots in other parts of their body.
However, Judy was grateful that her skin cancer was not melanoma, said to be the skin cancer that causes fatalities.
Whenever she sees women or teens or anyone just tanning themselves for so long, she feels frustrated, because they have no idea what else it is doing to their skin and bodies. Most would probably brush it off feeling like they’re the lucky ones that it won’t happen to, but so did she. It could happen to anyone.
As a manner of warning everyone about this, Judy showed the world her face by taking several selfies and documenting the aggravation of her skin cancer on Facebook. With those raw images of her condition, she hopes to reach out to young and old people to change their mind, so they do not get overexposed to the sun, and never face what she did.
Although doctors associated her cancer with overexposure to sun, some research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that even indoor tanning can cause skin cancer, especially youngsters with impressionable and malleable skin.
But, Judy is now recovering from her surgeries sees her skin on a whole other level. She now makes sure she moisturizes with sunscreen, uses UV protecting makeup, all with an SPF of 30-50. She also makes sure she does not stay under the sun directly between 10 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon.
Although she is now taking better care of her skin, she said it would be better if she started younger, so she can undo the damage she did then.
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