true confessions of a tanning bed junkie

14Sep11

Confession: I am a sun girl.  I can’t get enough of it.

Confession: I went to tanning beds in college.  In the winter I’d make my appointments early in the morning and drive my roommate’s car so I wouldn’t have to trudge through the dark (5:00 a.m.) and snow (Oxford, OH).  I craved the heat, the light and the mood that it induced in me (a yet to be diagnosed case of Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Confession: I think I look better with a tan.

Confession: I went to the dermatologist for the first time at age 35.  My friend’s were being diagnosed with melanoma.  I decided it was time to make sure my sun-loving self hadn’t damaged my skin.

Confession:  I found a mole on my 10-year-old two months ago. The mole was on her clavicle.  It appeared to be two different colors. I panicked.  I was scared.  Moles? Changing shapes? Different colors? Her summer was defined by rash guards and sun block while we waited to get into the pediatric dermatologist.

Confession: She has had one sunburn because I forgot to reapply.

Last week she had the mole burned off.  She was given a set of instructions for monitoring her skin and a follow-up appointment for six months.

Relief washed over me in that I hadn’t waited too long.  Fear now lingers because her skin is vulnerable.

Tonight I stumbled upon this awesome video (thanks Brene Brown).

Please watch.  Share.  For my daughter and for yours.

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2 Responses to “true confessions of a tanning bed junkie”

  1. 1 Tina

    Yep, my scar looks like the one on that person’s back. Now, I get checked regularly — too bad I didn’t use sunscreen when I was 16! My dentist, optometrist, hairdresser, GYN, etc. all now know to screen me for melanoma upon each visit. I didn’t know it could affect one’s body in so many places!

  2. omg I used to tan at salons in my mid-20s when I was living in AZ and it was too hot to lay out. I only did it for a few years but I regret having done it. I actually still go to the beach now .. with only sunscreen on my face. I dont burn which is why I allow my denial :oP I have also had yearly mole checks for the past 5 years and they always say I’m fine .. further validating that I’m ok.

    In addition to cancer its amazing to see the irreversible damage done to your skin by the sun. Not sure you know what my day job is but I work on a wrinkle product. I look at aged sun damaged skin all day. its prety frightening. Damaged collagen doesn’t recover well..

    anyways, although my mom always tried to keep me out of the sun because she didnt like the way a tan looked, she never wore sunscreen herself (asian skin doesn’t burn that easily) which I think led a bad example for me. Good for you to lather up your kids! I plan on doing the same someday when I have kids.


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