Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Every Woman's "Must Have"

Probably the most important item a woman can have in her beauty arsenal is a good sunscreen. The effects of long term (or short term) exposure to the sun can be devastating to the skin. An example of this is illustrated in the picture below. This 69 year old man was a delivery truck driver for years. The left side of his face was exposed to the sun from the drivers side window. Look at the difference in the left and right sides of his face! His skin looks 20 years older on the side facing the driver's side window. That's what happens to your skin, over time, without sunscreen.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Gordon/NEJM.com

I can still remember one of the worst sunburns I have ever had. About eight years ago, I was on vacation in the Outer Banks and I was not a user of sunscreen. At that time, I was a tanning bed junkie and had what I considered a "good" tan (a tan is actually the result of your skin being damaged by the sun) so I thought I didn't need sunscreen. Boy, was I wrong! After a day at the beach, my forehead was so scorched that the skin became swollen and painful to the touch. The result of that trip was a dark "mask" on my face that was visible even when I did not have a tan. It took me several years to discover a product regime that removed the mask and returned my skin to a more normal look. 

I was lucky---so far there has been no sign of skin cancer but I have known many people who have had cancerous and pre-cancerous spots removed from their faces and bodies. 

So PLEASE do yourself a favor---wear sunscreen every day!!