Look at this picture. Do you know what that is?
It’s a machine made specifically to vacuum the odor of burned flesh out of the air. I’m not kidding.
I had a visit with this machine last Friday when I got my second basal cell carcinoma burned off my skin. I’m now the proud owner of a burn mark on my calf that’s about the size of a nickel, should take 3+ months to heal, and 2-3 years to fade.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of cancer and the least likely to inflict any sort of major damage. Still, it is cancer. Thus, my life insurance company charges me more each year for a policy than my blemish-free husband. And all those annoying questionnaires you have to fill out every time you go to the doctor’s office? Yup, I have to check the box next to “cancer” every time.
If you haven’t run away and are still reading, please know this. I’m sharing this so that you are supported in your efforts to protect your kids from the sun.
I know they hate sunscreen.
I know they hate wearing a hat.
But you are a good mom for protecting them. And, you don’t want them to face a future of getting weird little 5 mm blemishes burned off their skin in a circle the size of a nickel while a giant burned-flesh-sucking machine whirs in the background.
Go forth and be protected! Feel free to share your favorite sun protection tip or favorite sunscreen brand in the comments.
Update: You guys are awesome and I don’t want to scare you too badly. Thus, you should all know that I have light skin, light eyes, light hair and grew up frolicking on the beaches of Southern California getting sunburned so bad that my skin bubbled! Then, I spent my teen years in Phoenix working on my tan pretty much year-round. In other words, I had a lot of sun exposure plus a lot of risk factors.