My whole life, I've had skin woes. I am a dermatologist's dream. I think my mom even said I had issues as a small baby. I've always had eczema spots. I get eczema usually when it's cold and dry. Everyone in our house has eczema. Jaycee and my hubby get their eczema when it's hot. Logan and I get our eczema when it's cold! I hope my kids don't get the rest of my skin issues!
I had acne from my pre-teens until I was in my thirties. I've used so many acne products in my life, I probably kept some of the companies in business. Luckily, the acne has subsided except for a wayward perimenopausal pimple. But, the acne has been replaced by other things!
Unfortunately, I spent way too many years in the sun and in tanning beds when I was younger. When I was a teenager, we used to start lying out in the sun at 10 in the morning and lie out all day until about 4:00. In Florida. And that was back before we knew how really, really bad it was. We would use a tanning oil instead of sunblock.
Luckily, when I was in college, I went through a phase when I became scared to death of skin cancer and melanoma. So, I tried to stay out of the sun. But, that phase only lasted a couple years. Then, I started tanning again. And I even started going to tanning beds. I was so scared the first time. The whole idea freaked me out. But, I started enjoying my time in the tanning beds. I love being hot. And with it's warmth and it's humming, it became my stress relief and relaxation. I used to know people who would go in the tanning beds every day. And I started going every day for a couple months.
But, not only did we go in tanning beds every day. We also still laid out in the sun on the same days. I've racked up so much damage it's not even funny.
I've been lucky so far in the fact that I don't have very many wrinkles for the amount of sun damage that I've probably done. But, I have countless age spots. Some of the age spots are genetic. Their technical name is seborrheic keratosis. They are not pretty. And I've been wanting to have some of them removed. But, I haven't had them done yet. Maybe I'll have them done in February when I go back for my bi-annual skin cancer skin check.
Oh, didn't you know? That sun did actually cause me damage. It did not show up as wrinkles. I had a pre-cancerous mole removed. And apparently melanoma runs in families. It is not only caused by sun damage, but also genetics. My aunt had a melanoma removed. Many people in my family have the type of moles that turn into melanoma. They are called dysplastic nevi. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation's website, a person with 10 or more dysplastic nevi have 12 times the risk of developing melanoma than the general population. I am loaded with them. We have probably already taken about 15 of them off, though. Only the one was pre-cancerous. Unfortunately, both of my kids have the same type of moles. And they each have at least 10 already. So, I am extremely vigilant about covering them in the summertime and making sure we watch their moles.
I also have the flat, dark age spots that are caused by too much sun. They are more like the melasma that I was talking about the other day. I think I could use some kind of over the counter product to help lessen the effects of those.
It would seem that if I would have just stayed out of the sun, I wouldn't need so many skin care products. But, hindsite is 20/20. Plus, I always think about whether or not I would actually change anything if I was able to do things again. I can't say that I regret my years in the sun because I was usually having fun with family and friends. I would like to think that I might not get in the tanning bed if I had it all to do over again. But, who knows! As I said, it was relaxing for me.
Add to all of the above, skin tags, extremely dry hands and feet and funky toenails and you can see why I said I was a dermatologist's dream (or nightmare).
Have you ever been to the dermatologist for a head to toe skin check? I recommend everyone do it just for a baseline. Since I always tanned very easily as a kid, I never knew I was high-risk. And I never would have even looked twice at the mole my doctor took off. It was small and I thought it was all one color.
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