Skin Care and Basal Cell Carcinoma
Giving proper attention to our skin is vital! We wear our skin every day, but so often we do very little to keep it in good repair. Just think about those sunburns as a child! I don’t know about you, but I burn very easily and have had more than a few sunburns in my life. I mean, unfortunately, I can get sunburned riding in the car on a hot summer day. Freckles and pale skin…that’s me! My mother made sure I wore sunscreen as a child whenever I was in the sun for swimming or playing, but what about now that I am an adult going about daily activities? Do I wear sunscreen? Yes, yes, yes! Have I always faithfully worn sunscreen? No. When I was expecting my little boy, I noticed a light brown, scaly spot on my forehead that was itchy. I thought it was really strange that it suddenly appeared. I kept a watch on it but just attributed it to pregnancy because I had read that skin discolorations can happen due to changes in the body. Fast forward several months…my sweet little blessing was born, and I jumped in to life as a new mom! A few months after he was born, I thought to myself, “hmmm… that spot is still on my face.” So, I did as a lot of young moms do… I called my mom! She suggested that I see the dermatologist, so I scheduled an appointment.
At first glance, the doctor wasn't concerned, but he did a biopsy for precaution. Sure enough, I received a letter in the mail stating that the biopsy revealed a basal cell carcinoma and further cancer cells were present at the base and sides of the biopsy site. The dermatologist recommended that I have Moh’s surgery. I was really surprised that I had skin cancer at such a young age. I’m not a sun worshipper by any stretch of the imagination, and I don’t ever have a tan! Something had triggered the skin cancer to grow, so I had to address it.
After surgery, I followed the post-operative surgery instructions for several days following. Now I go to the dermatologist at least once or twice a year, and I try to faithfully wear moisturizer with sunscreen on my face each day. If I am planning a longer sun exposure, I wear extra sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and sometimes longer sleeves (at least three-quarter length).
Skin cancer is not always caused by too much sun exposure. In fact, I really don’t know what caused the spot to appear on my face, but taking additional safeguards to protect from harmful rays certainly can’t hurt. Research those sunscreens too and look for ones that are free of harmful ingredients!
My best advice concerning skin is two-fold:
Wear sunscreen and protective gear when exposed to the sun.
Visit a dermatologist once or twice a year to have those spots and moles checked!