Monday, February 7, 2011

I am a Sun Goddess No More

Dear 16 year Annie,

It's me, Annie.  Thirty-seven year old , Annie, that is.

I am here from the future to beg you, plead with you,  and bargain with you.


Wear sunscreen.

No.  Do not roll your eyes.  I am not kidding.

You see, dear 16 year old self, I just got back from the dermatologist's office.  And, let me tell you girl, it was not fun.  In fact, it was damn sobering.

First,  we have been diagnosed with adult acne, and that itself is hard to swallow.  Because in its simplest form it means that a) we are old and b) we have pimples.  My skin is no longer the golden hued smooth skin that you have now.  It has bumps and creases and when my hormones are raging, my skin downright hurts. 

But that is not the worst, my dear.


That's not it.

The worst was when the dermatologist used her blindingly white light to inspect our face.  And, when she happened upon our age spot on our cheek, she said, "This," and she stopped to touch the spot.  "This HAS to come off."

At first, I was tickled.  Remove my age spot, make me look younger?  Great!

But then the doc calmly explained, "Annie.  It could turn into melanoma.  It has gotten bigger and it needs to come off, as a precaution."

I was no longer smiling (or breathing for that matter) . . . and you shouldn't be either.

So that good doctor took off that age spot with her -400 degree concentrated air thingy, and I tried to remember to breathe as I felt every millimeter of my stinging flesh.

And for the next few weeks, I have a big mole-like, charred flesh, Scarlet letter-like reminder that I (like you are now) was once a sun goddess.

And despite my joking, and my self comparison to the mole lady from Uncle Buck, this is not funny, my girl. and google images

It is scary . . . and not worth it.

And, if it meant that I would never have to have melanoma or any other skin cancer, if it meant that I could tell you and all those young girls out there that baking in the sun could equal cancer,  I would  and will wear this ugly skin badge loudly and proudly.

But, it doesn't.  There are no guarantees. 

There is, however, prevention.

So, wear that sunscreen, Annie.  Take it from your older, more wrinkly self.

You are worth it.



  1. I totally agree. I was a sun worshipper in my 20s. I now have a sun spot on my face. It really bothered me so I started using a skin cream by Avon that has lessened it quite a bit. My doctor doesn't seem concerned about it medically speaking which is a good thing.

    Good luck!

  2. Oh how I wish my younger self had done this as well. So far I've been lucky but now at 38 I wear 50+ sun screen and sit in the shade at the beach.

    Self I love them. :)

  3. Once I had my picture taken with the dermatologist's skin cancer camera. It showed all the sun damaged parts of my face. *shudder* I never went back to the tanning bed after that.

  4. OMG! That is so scary. I'm glad she took it off. I had a mouth cancer scare once at a dentist appt. I had to have a biopsy to determine that it was nothing. Made me quit smoking, though.

  5. soooo scary, Annie. I had something taken off my back a while ago, but I never was a sun worshipper. I am bad about wearing sunscreen, though...

  6. I bet that was so scary! I have oodles of "beauty marks" and have already had a couple moles removed that didn't look good.

    I did a lot of sun tanning in my teens, but really not after that. Unfortunately, sun-related problems don't surface until years later, when you can't change anything about the time you logged in the rays.


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