I’m a huge advocate for being safe in the sun! I wear a good SPF that is 50+ everyday and protect my eyes with good quality sunglasses for yourself (use code LITTLELOVELIES for one month free) and your babies.
The same things I practice for myself, I do for my girls too. It’s so important to protect your body from harmful UV rays, and doing these things can greatly decrease your risk for skin cancer.
When I was 21, I was diagnosed with Melanoma In-Situ. It was terrifying. I went for a routine body check at my dermatologist’s office where she removed a mole that she thought would come back fine from the labs. I got a call in the middle of one of my college classes, and remembered listening to the message when I got out. I called them back thinking nothing of it, and remembered when the doctor said the word Melanoma to me. I fell to the ground. I had tears rolling down my face. I wondered how in the world I could have skin cancer at 21, and not ever burn in the sun! I could count on one hand the amount of times I had been in a tanning bed, and I always thought that since I didn’t burn, I was safe. Wrong. I didn’t wear sunscreen. I didn’t worry about being in the sun, and sometimes I even put myself in the sun for hours on end to bake. I regret every second of that, and know better now.
While I hear about skin cancer and the scary parts of it, I am thankful that my dermatologist (whom I visit regularly, every 6 months to once a year now) caught my spots. I had a couple of new moles form that were itchy, so we removed them just to be on the safe side. Over the course of my life, I have had several moles removed because they were in spots that got irritated or they looked like they could come back bad…but never once did I have them come back as Melanoma until then. The type of Melanoma was the “best” type that it could be since it was just on the surface. So at least there was good news to the worst news of my life thus far. I went ahead and had a day surgery to remove the rest of the area around the spot with a plastic surgeon. The spot was on my face and I just did not want to risk the scar, so we chose to go with a surgery that would create the least amount of cosmetic change. The other spot that came back as Melanoma In-Situ was around my swimsuit area, so the dermatologist went ahead and performed that surgery. All together, I had over 18 stitches on the outside and just as many on the inside.
It was scary. It was painful. But it was NOTHING like what it could have been if it wouldn’t have been caught. It was caught early and was a HUGE wake up call for my 21-year-old self. Since then, I perform mole checks weekly (and have my husband look too) to make sure that none of my moles are changing. I also schedule regular body check appointments with my dermatologist where she goes from head to tiny pinky toe to make sure that everything looks okay. I wear SPF on my body and my face, and I get spray tans instead of worry about being tan from the sun. I DO enjoy being in the sun with my girls, but we are always covered with SPF and/or hats, clothes, sunglasses and sun protectants.
Fast forward a few years, and my eye doctor found a freckle that I have on my eye. Given my history, we have to make sure that the freckle doesn’t change so I undergo many tests each year with an eye specialist. I wear good quality sunglasses to protect my eyes from the harmful UV rays, year round.
I’m sharing this because I want you to know how important it is to protect your body (and your baby’s body) from the sun. You may be young, and you may think being tan is really important…but it’s not as important as seeing your baby take her first steps, seeing her start Kindergarten, helping her choose a dress for her first prom, giving her away at her wedding, holding her hand while she has her first baby, and embracing all of the other joys of life.
Please, please, please know that it is important to be seen by a dermatologist, and if you have any questionable spots please don’t wait! There are so many forms of skin cancer, and it is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. If you have any questions or would like help finding a good dermatologist in your area, please email me and I can help you find one!
Wear your SPF. Wear your sunglasses. Get your body checked.
Happy National Sunglasses Day!