How long does it take for a burn?

I could make a “that’s what she said,” joke about needing some lube or whether you need to be seen by a doctor, but I won’t.  Except I think I just did.  So there you go.

Sorry, but I’m stuck on this Cosmo article about skin.  I’ll make a real apology when you start really wearing your sunscreen. Not gonna do it?  I’m gonna keep talking about this insanely boring article/subject.  So here we go.

Freckles are cute, right?  Sure.  But more freckles mean you’re more pasty, mean you wear more sunscreen (except some of you don’t), mean let’s talk about moles.  Cosmo says people with melanoma tend to have few moles.  Hold on.  I’ve got to catch my breath.  People with melanoma have few moles.  OH GOD this is great.  Wait.  These aren’t moles.  THEY’RE ALL CANCER BECAUSE IF COSMO SAYS . . .

I need to take a deep fucking breath here.  This might be true in some cases.  Maybe I’m an anomaly (lucky me!). I have a lot of moles.  Not the annoying ones to dig a sprinkler system in your yard, minus the sprinklers.  If you’re one of the lucky few to have seen me naked (I promise it’s a treat, but if you’re not interested, I’ll put on clothes and make dinner or something – I’m a pretty good cook), you know that I’m kind of spotty.  And if you’ve been with me naked and haven’t noticed, well, I wasn’t exactly looking at your skin that closely either.  You know those pictures of models you see with flawless skin on their backs all the way down to their, well, I’m sure they’re lovely, but I’m not that girl.

As I said, I’m spotty.  From head to toe.  I generally see my dermatologist twice a year, more often when she finds something weird, so I see her kind of a lot.  Yep, a lady sees me naked a lot and it’s not even a little bit sexy.  Especially when she asks if she can bring students in to see the removal. I usually don’t mind but I’ll never forget the time I was laying half naked on a table while a chunk of skin was being taken off of my ass.  One of them said, “it’s a big one, did you get it all?”

“I hope she did because I’m sure you you aren’t going to get to watch again if she didn’t,”

Laughter all around, but I wanted to die.  I wasn’t being funny, and the doctor assured me later that she talked to him about things that you do NOT say in the room.  I asked her to tell him that there are some things you don’t do or say and to have a little fucking compassion, and she promised me that she’d bring it up with him.  Note – when I went back to have the stitches out, there was a group of medical students around, some of who (I feel like whom is the correct word here, but I don’t have an editor, and I don’t know) I recognized.  He wasn’t there.

ANYWAY. Enough about me.  ON TO THE REST OF THE ARTICLE!

Does getting a base tan help?

There’s a long answer in the magazine – buy it if you want to know what they have to say.  Short answer?  NO.

Is it okay if I only tan once or twice a year?

NO.  Don’t fucking do it.  If we’re friends, I may unfriend you for this.  I’ve had very angry conversations with my parents about this.  They quit doing it.  Or they lie to me.  One of those.

Which is worse – going to a tanning bed or laying out in the sun?

Bottom line?  Both are bad, but tanning beds are worse, IMO.  People who go to tanning beds aren’t putting on sunscreen before they go in (though NGL, I went to a tanning bed when I was in high school and college – I KNOW – and a few times, I wore sunscreen), and if they’re out in the sun, they might.Either way?  I just told you to not go to a tanner.  Don’t make me tell you twice. Or a fourth time, or however many times I’ve told you now.

If I have one type of skin cancer, can I get another?

Yep.  And if you’ve had one, you’re more likely to get another.Also at an increased risk for other cancers.  :buzzkill:

Does water resistant sunscreen work?

Yep.  It does. Read what the tube says and reapply before the low end of the time that it’s resistant for.  If you’re alone at a beach or pool, find a Mom with kids and ask her if she can put some on your back.  Have spray sunscreen or ask if she can spray you with hers.  If you’re a dude?  Just don’t be a creeper – explain that you know about sun damage and want to reduce your risk.  I’m not a Mom, but I’ve actually put sunscreen on strangers in three states – Illinois, Florida, and Hawaii.

How often do I need a skin check?

You?  Get looked at if you haven’t already.  Me?  At least once a year if not twice, and probably more than that.

Where am I most likely to get skin cancer?

Cosmo says on your legs because you’re (you being lady- type people) not good about putting sunscreen on there.  My melanoma was on my ass and my back.  Places that have never seen the sun.  When I’m planning on being in the sun, I put on sunscreen while I’m naked.  About and ounce and a half covers me.

And should I wear sunglasses?

YES YOU SHOULD.  Protect your eyeballs, friends.  Cancer of the eyes and eyelids are real things.  And not just in the summer.  Wear them in the winter.  Wear them anytime you might need them.

Wear your sunscreen.  Or don’t.

I’m not going to lie, I still love being out in the sun, which is why I wear so much sunscreen – I’ve already had (been diagnosed with?) melanoma, so I’ll get it again, it’s just a matter of when and where.  It’s kind of the irony (or not at all ironic, depending on your definition, thanks Alanis) of hating the cold and loving the heat.

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