Most of us can probably point to something we regret doing as a teen. But while some of those choices are just a fun memory, others are far more concerning. For example, Malory Lubbock’s teenage tanning bed habit. The now 26-year-old mom is calling out her former use of tanning beds on Facebook with a post-surgery skin cancer selfie.
After having a cancerous growth removed from her upper lip, Lubbock shared her story in the hopes that more teens won’t make the same tanning mistake she did. Proclaiming, “I remember seeing skin cancer posts of Facebook and thinking, Oh that’ll never happen to me”.
In her post, she stresses how tan skin in the moment is not worth the lifelong pain of skin cancer. Routine check-ups, painful removals, and forever hiding from the sun is now her life. She hopes her story will not only influence her own daughter to stay away from the tanning beds, but other teenage girls as well.
In the report by JAMA Dermatology, about 45% of American teens under the age of 16 are first taken to an indoor tanning salon by a relative. For more than half of teen girls, their mother is that relative. We pick up learned behaviors, like using a tanning bed or going to the beach and not using sunscreen, from our parents. Which is why Lubbock specifically addresses this problem in her post. “Get your daughter out of tanning beds, Get your 16 year old sister out of them.”
Wear your daily sunscreen, seek shade more than the sun, and stay away from tanning beds. Living in Arizona, we see the sun often. Even if you’re not planning on layout or being outside for too long, wearing sunscreen is still important. Sun damage starts the minute you step outside. The accumulation of sun exposure through car windows and running errands all add up.
As of 2012 the FDA regulated sunscreen to be properly labeled “broad-spectrum”. This means that it protects against both UVA and UVB. Using a sunscreen for both the face and body that is broad-spectrum protection is very important, as UVA and UVB both affect the skin differently. A product that we highly recommend, and use ourselves, is Revision Skincare’s Intellishade. This holy grail product is a tinted moisturizer, sunscreen, and anti-aging all in one. Best of all it is broad-spectrum and SPF 45. This product takes the extra step of having to apply a sun screen and eliminates it because it’s the only moisturizer you need in the morning.
Early detection is important with any cancer and self-exams can help you identify skin cancers early, when they can almost always be completely cured. In order to successfully complete a self-exam you need to know what to look for. Simply remember your ABCDE’s. The acronym to keep you on the lookout for anything suspicious on your skin. Click here to learn the ABCDE’s of skin cancer.
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