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!
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. 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 Farmers 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 things you can do 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 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 is 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.