When I was a child in the 60s skin cancer and sunscreen just weren't on our radar like they are now. Jeez, it was the opposite. Lather up with the oiliest substance you could find, mine of choice was cocoa butter, and bake until you were tan. With me it was bake until you were burnt to a crisp, then peel, then freckle--but I tried anyway. I am now paying the price.
The dermatologist and I have become quite good friends and he seems to know my body as much as my beloved which is an icky thought because I just found out he was at UCLA the same time as our daughter and son-in-law. I know he's a doctor but come on, he's a kid to me.
So it goes, getting older, but it's what he's looking at that gives me pause; Actinic Keritosis. He finds these little dry scratchy places, usually on my face and zaps them with liquid nitrogen. I'm sure if he just put a cigarette out on that spot it would have the same results but with smoking laws what they are and all his little shot of this freezing liquid does the trick.
What really stops me in my tracks are the one he biopsies. He'd been watching something on the back of my leg above my knee. As I remember that was a favortie place for me to burn come summer time. Lots of walking in shorts. He always says, "Oh I'm sure it's ok but let's be safe" and it has been ok, so far.
Prevention would have been the best way to go but since that ship has sailed and most likely sunk, I make sure I keep the appointment with my boy-doctor. He must know something, right? He also teaches at med school so I'm sure he wasn't a "C" student. That doesn't mean I've given up, I use a sunscreen every morning.
Here's a site with some good info on skin cancer. We do live outside a lot here in Southern California and that won't change. Just change some of your habits and you won't have the need to scrape these barnacles off you old hull. Mayo Clinic Skin Cancer website.
Editor note: The biopsy report says it was benign. Let's hear an Amen from the choir.