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Now that summer is approaching and the days are longer, I’m thinking more about sun exposure. We spent the weekend outside and I forgot to put on sunscreen. I had long sleeves and jeans on so at least I didn’t get sun on my arms or legs. I come from a long line of skin cancer survivors so I’m very aware of getting sunburned. I wasn’t always that way.
Back in the olden days, I was outside a lot of the time and without sunscreen. I don’t think it had been invented yet. I remember a few bad sunburns, especially after we moved to Colorado. I burned so badly on my shoulders and neck that it hurt for sunlight to be on my skin. It blistered badly and was horribly painful. As a teenager, I had the dumb idea that burning my legs made my skin look better over the winter so I intentionally lay out in the sun until I was roasted. I went skiing on bright sunny days with no sunscreen and blistered my forehead so badly that my eyes swelled shut.
I’ve given all this confessional stuff so I can honestly say to you, do as I say and not as I have done. I’ve been very stupid in regard to sun exposure. I have skin damage galore. I’m paying for it now with several skin cancers already removed and likely more to come. I have to visit a dermatologist twice a year which can be expensive.
As we go into summer and sleeves get shorter and legs and feet come out from under their warm winter covers, please don’t forget to put on sunscreen. Sunshine is good for you, but only in small doses. Watch out how much sun you get. Use sunscreen and lots of it. It’s WAY cheaper to slather on a layer of sunscreen than it is to have bits of skin cut off and analyzed. Trust me on that.
Wear a hat when outdoors. Baseball caps and visors don’t cover the tops of the ears, the top of the head, or back of the neck. Wide-brimmed hats really are best. I’ve seen some lovely ones for women, wide-brimmed and colorful. Hubby has a wide-brimmed hat that has a little curtain around the back of it that protects his neck very well.
Please be smarter than me and take care of your skin. Watch your skin for changes, including the skin under your hair. Be proactive in skin cancer prevention.

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