Do You Know The Early Signs Of Skin Cancer?
So, I ask you, would you notice the early signs of skin cancer? I didn’t. I had no idea what that dark spot on the edge of my hairline on the right side of my forehead was.
The one fact that I knew? It was getting bigger and uglier and turning brown!
Hello, I’m Sami Williams, and I have been in the battle against skin cancer for over four decades. My struggles, marked by the frustrations of recurring skin issues and the challenges of less-than-desirable surgical outcomes, have fueled a passion for sun safety that extends through generations.
Recognizing The Early Signs of Skin Cancer
Are you ready to recognize the early signs of skin cancer?
Like most people, I initially dismissed it. It didn’t hurt or itch, so I thought there was no cause for concern. However, as the spot continued to grow, I realized it was time to take action.
I had other smaller spots on the backs of my hands and my arms that I knew were small skin cancer spots. I needed to get them checked out, but that ugly brown spot that was growing under my bangs, it needed attention.
A Trip To The Dermatologist
It was time to get some expert advice on the skin cancer symptoms on my hands and arms. To find out if the thing growing on my forehead was going to require bangs to my chin to hide!
After receiving a recommendation from a trusted friend, I decided to consult a dermatologist, something I hadn’t done since moving to the Texas Hill Country.
To my surprise, the dermatologist initially dismissed the spot as a mere buildup of dead skin! I was skeptical; after all, regular cleaning and shampooing should have prevented this.
But the dermatologist knew better. He swiftly removed a scab-like piece of skin from my forehead and assured me that was all that was necessary.
Then, he examined my arms and hands, revealing another issue hidden beneath my clothing.
Unveiling Hidden Threats
Do you have skin cancer hiding in unexpected places?
It turns out that I am unaware of how to recognize skin cancer on my hand or anywhere else.
I wonder, am I alone in my ignorance?
After undergoing a biopsy and eventually receiving an all-clear result, I am eager to put the incident behind me.
However, as my adult children began scheduling regular dermatologist visits, I realized that our genetics made us susceptible to skin issues.
The Sun’s Impact on Skin Health
Our family is a study of the results of sun exposure and its consequences.
Our journey to skin problems began with fair skin and years of excessive sun exposure.
Living in West Texas and New Mexico, we indulged in water sports, baseball, and tennis, all without adequate sun protection. Sun-blocking clothing and sunscreen were foreign concepts to us.
Due to the dry area we lived in, we had to drive to the water spots to enjoy the water skiing. When we got to the water spots, we were determined to use every hour of daylight for skiinging.
Resulting in 14 and 15 hours of daytime sun exposure in June, July, and August. This is considered neglecting your kids in today’s society.
We thought that since we were all here together, we were having fun, and not neglecting our family. Those long hours in the sun with sunburns getting more sun before completely healed.
Oh my, how much we didn’t know in those years.
I wanted to be a good mom, but I had unknowingly neglected the basics of skincare for my entire family.
We found ourselves facing the consequences, but there was no turning back the clock; we could only move forward.
What Is Sun Protective Clothing
How can we avoid the danger to our skin, and still enjoy the days in the sun?
Is there a solution to prevent skin cancer?
Is sacrificing our sunny outdoor activities the only way to avoid skin cancer?
Not necessarily, but it remains the best choice.
This led me to explore the world of sun-blocking clothing and its mysteries. OK, so it is 20 years too late for my kids, we now have grandchildren.
Yes, sunscreen lotions and ointments do offer some protection. However, is it the only thing we have to work with?
I realized that many parents were safeguarding their families with lightweight sun-protective clothing.
In our generation, we went for minimal clothing to get that coveted tan. Unfortunately, we were unaware of the dangers of excessive sun exposure
The Power of Sun Blocking Clothing
Are you learning how to use clothing as a shield against the sun?
Combining sunscreen products with sun-protective clothing is showing high promise.
It is too early to determine if we have reversed the damage from years of inadequate protection, but we are learning how to better protect our skin.
To protect yourself and your loved ones, consider making these changes:
- Wear your sunglasses.
- Also, wear a wide-brimmed sun blocking hat.
- Swim in a tee shirt, provided it’s not too worn and thin.
- Pull on the loose-fitting, long-sleeve shirt that can block the sun.
- Sun visors are useful but leave your ears exposed, as well as the back of your neck if your shirt doesn’t have a collar.
- Oversized shirts are easy to put on after swimming and help sunscreen last longer. A good shirt cuts down on reapplying sunscreen every little bit.
These measures can help prevent skin cancer and protect your skin from sun damage.
I don’t mind being pale / Taylor Swift
tThe Cool Factor in Skin Protection
Now we have stylish sun blocking clothing. And successful people saying that it is OK to not have a tan.
Special fabrics that are designed to shield your skin from UV rays are both functional and fashionable.
These fabrics come in attractive styles, helping you look chic while staying protected. These stylish designs can boost your confidence when you’re dressed while others are in swimsuits, unaware of the potential harm to their skin.
Empower your family to take better care of their skin and reduce their risk of skin cancer. Help them to be aware of how sun blocking clothing can protect their skin from skin cancer.
H3: Recognizing the Early Signs of Skin Cancer
Those of us in our family must be vigilant in being on the alert for skin abnormalities.
While recognizing the early signs of skin cancer remains a work in progress, self-examinations have become a crucial part of our routine.
Due to our extensive history of sunburn, we remain watchful for any of the following warning signs:
- New spots anywhere on your body where the skin looks different.
- Unusual spots, bumps, freckles that don’t resemble others.
- Non-healing open sores.
- Redness or swelling beyond the border of a mole.
- Spreading color from a spot into the surrounding skin.
- Persistent itching, pain, or tenderness.
- Changes in the surface of a mole, such as oozing, scaliness, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump.
As you embark on the journey of better skin care, establish a regular routine for skin checks, tying it to a monthly event, like paying your electric bill.
Sami’s Take On “The Early Signs of Skin Cancer”
We all need to pay attention when learning a new health habit. Learning to use sun blocking clothing is a habit that will keep your skin safer.
Learning to rely on clothing to keep us safe from the sun will help with lowering your risk for skin cancer.
This information is from Healthline.com and various other sources. While it’s challenging to sift through the vast amount of online information about skin cancers, my family’s experiences have led me to dig deeper.
Consulting with dermatologists and sharing our findings has provided diverse insights.
I hope this information helps you protect yourself and your loved ones. As I share these discoveries with my family, I try to provide the best advice possible to make your family safer from skin cancer.
Taking a journey into Sun Blocking Clothing is a definite new route for me. It is years late too help my kids, but as stated earlier, grandkids are the ones we can protect.
Hopefully, you can learn as I do.
Resources not mentioned in the article:
So, I did what most people do- forgot about it! It didn’t hurt, it wasn’t itching, both were what I would think were reasons to be concerned.
But, then the spot started getting bigger! It would cover my forehead by the end of the year, at this rate!
The Dermatologist Visit- Early Signs of Skin Cancer
So getting a recommendation from a trusted person who had been under this doctor’s care before, I went to see a Dermatologist. I had not seen one since moving to the Texas Hill Country.
After a brief exam, he disregarded the spot on the forehead as just a build-up of dead skin! Really! How can that happen? Scrubs and cleanings plus the shampooing should be taking care of dead skin! Surely he was mistaken.
But, no, a bit of fiddling and he had a scab-looking hunk of skin off my forehead, and over there in a tray! Next, he sprayed the remaining scab with something he said would freeze the rest off without bleeding.
What was he thinking? He looked at my arms and hands and asked about any places that were covered by my clothing. I extended my hand, and in a flash, he was holding my hand, pressing and mashing on a corn-looking thing, saying this needed to be removed surgically.
Really, surgically? That place isn’t as unsightly as the spot on my forehead. “Just use your spray magic,” I thought to myself.
Yes, he assured me, this one went deeper than I thought. Unlike the brown growing scab on my forehead that had no roots, and was just a buildup!
So, it is safe to say I didn’t know how to recognize skin cancer on my hand! Or anywhere else. Am I the only one?
After a biopsy and finally an all-clear a few weeks down the road, I just wanted to forget the whole incident.
More Of Us Had Problems
Then my grown-up kids began to have regularly scheduled dermatologist visits and I knew that something in our genetic makeup made us suspectable.
It starts with fair skin, for sure. Too much exposure to the sun through our younger years.
Living in Texas and New Mexico, loving water sports and playing baseball and tennis. Not using protective sun blocking clothing and sunscreens. Do you get the picture?
I wanted to be a good Mom, but apparently, I overlooked too much basic skincare for my whole family. We were in trouble. How did this happen? How can I do better now?
Well, you know the thing is you can’t go back! You can only move forward.
Giving Up Our Life In The Sunshine To Avoid Skin Cancer?
This caused me to find out what is available for us at this stage of the game. Was giving up the fun times in the sun the only answer? Well, no, but it is the best one! What Is The Sun Blocking Clothing Mystery?
There are many excellent sun protection products for use in lotions and ointments. Regular application helps build a barrier to sun damage.
However, I also realized that other parents were getting good protection for their families with lightweight sun-protective clothing.
We were of the generation that loved wearing less clothing. Shorts and shirts, sandals. Tank tops, we wanted to be tan and knew that covering up less would give us the tan.
I don’t know that you could say we had a tanning addiction at that point in our lives, but we definitely were not aware of the problems we were causing down the road. We just didn’t know how dangerous too much sun on our skin was.
We thought that we were fine because that sunburn peeled off. Our skin looked just fine! Well, except for the freckles we got. Add to that the fact that our pale skin was slowly tanning! Now the places that were damaged just one time too many are causing problems. They are growing skin cancers!
Enter Sun Block Clothing
Added together, a program of ointment and lotions, and sun-protective clothing has made a difference. It is too early to tell if we have come out of the damage that going unprotected for all those years has done.
However, we know more about how to take care of ourselves and I would like to help you be aware of what you should avoid and how you can help yourself and your loved ones.
So now we need to discuss sunblock clothing.
Truth be known, we get lots of sun-blocking by just covering our bodies.
Swim in a tee shirt, as long as it is not worn out and too thin.
Wear your sunglasses.
Put on a sun blocking loose-fitting shirt with long sleeves.
There are few substitutes for the wide-brimmed hats we always described as Farmer’s Straw Hats. They might not make you look cute, but they will help protect you from too much sun.
A sun visor is good, but will not protect your ears. Long-sleeve tees are good. So are long-sleeve button-up shirts.
An oversized shirt to get into and out of is easy to put on when out of the water. They won’t rub off all the newly applied sunscreen so quickly either.
There are lots of actions you can take to protect yourself from the sun and help prevent skin cancer.
The Cool Factor- To Help Prevent The Early Signs Of Skin Cancer
There are many fabrics specifically for protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Companies that design special fabrics also design really attractive styles. This helps with the looking cute factor and makes us feel better about wearing protective clothing.
Really cool stylish designs make you feel better about being dressed when most are in swimsuits. They just don’t know what they are doing to their skin.
Help your family learn how to take care of their skin. Help them have fewer skin cancers.
Sami’s Take On The Early Signs Of Skin Cancer
While there is still a long way to go to really know the early signs of skin cancer, we are getting better about the self-exams to check out skin and stay on top of what is happening.
Our history is too filled with sunburn to be able to forget. We know that any of the following is to be watched:
- Are there any new spots? Anywhere on your body?
- Is there a new spot that doesn’t look like others on your body?
- Do you have an open sore that doesn’t heal?
- Is there redness or a new swelling beyond the border of a mole?
- Color that spreads from the border of a spot into the surrounding skin?
- What about itching, pain, or tenderness in an area that doesn’t go away or goes away then comes back?
- Changes in the surface of a mole: oozing, scaliness, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump
When you are first becoming aware of the need to take better care of your skin, you will need to pay attention to a regular routine for checking your skin. Like all new habits, you will need to tie it to something. Like the day the electric bill is paid, or any other regular event.
Awareness will build, and sharing information with your family will make them more aware, and know that they can take care of themselves.
Healthline.com was one of my resources for this information. There is so much information online. I know you don’t want to read all the information that we now have to learn about skin cancers.
I didn’t either, but as member after member of my family has dealt with this result from too many hours in the sun, I decided to take the plunge.
There are nearly 2 years of research and study involved in this site.
Visiting with my Dermatologist and other members of our clan, comparing what we have learned. We have found that each Dermatologist has his or her own ideas about how we can help ourselves.
Hopefully, this information will help you protect yourself. As I am sharing with my own family what I am finding out, I want the best of the best advice. Maybe there will be something here you can use to make you and your family safer from skin cancer.