Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Burn For Eternity?

Sunscreen. It's sticky, goopy, slimey, and annoying. It's also a necessity, even a life saver. I have had several bad burns and a bout with basal cell carcinoma (AKA skin cancer), and I don't want the kiddo to go through that. However, thanks to common sense and sunscreen, the pain and misery are avoidable. The trick is to actually get the sunscreen on the skin. 

The kiddo and I have a routine during the school year: every morning before she gets her bookbag (and before I squirt her hair with the lice repellant), I smear sunscreen on her face. Yup, in winter, too. The school's policy is that the kids will go outside for recess as long as it isn't raining/snowing and the temperature is above 40° F. Sometimes they go out for gym class, and yet again before packing up, and then I pick the kiddo up and walk her home. That's a lot of potential UVA/UVB exposure. 

Other times, we don't really have a routine. Of course, I slather sunscreen on the kiddo when we go to the pool or the beach, but in the summer, since we don't have a set routine, it's often a last minute thing. On those occasions, she's not as patient as she is when she's getting ready for school. Then I have to hold her still and smear it all over her while she complains. However, she has seen firsthand and in pictures what can happen if you don't protect your skin, so she relents and helps rub it in. (When she was little, though, I had to chase her down and smear it on her real fast before she slipped away!)

I will share my pics with you. This is a basal cell carcinoma, the least serious skin cancer. It's still ugly, especially with the spontaneous bleeding. Yuck. Getting stitches in my nose isn't on my list of favorite things, either. It was numb, but I could still feel the tugging.  This was really a small spot (but I had to have it removed FOUR times!), but at least one relative of mine has been diagnosed with melanoma. I'm all for preventative medicine, which in this case means sunscreen.

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