Wear sunscreen

I’ve been gone for an embarrassingly long blog hiatus, and there’s no real reason why. I have spent my “free” time doing other things; I read and occasionally work on projects, but mostly, I’ve been watching HGTV or old Lost episodes in my downtime. Very productive, eh?

Now that I’m back in the blogging saddle, I felt a bit of pressure about this post. After almost two months of silence, what should I write about? What do I have to say? One subject came to mind immediately and has stuck in my mind ever since.

Sunscreen.

A couple weeks back I noticed something strange. A spot on my chest didn’t look right, and it started to make me nervous. I’m a doctor-visiting kind of person, so within a week, I had seen my dermatologist and had a biopsy. Two weeks later, I got the letter – all clear! Collective sigh of relief at the Ray household, let me tell you.

Still, it got me to thinking. I know way too many people – young and not-so-young – who have had a skin cancer scare. Did you know that skin cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in children and young adults? They call it “a young person’s disease”. Scary, right?

Wear sunscreen, y’all… and hats and sunglasses! Be that person in long sleeves at the beach, especially if you’re fair-skinned. Get out of those tanning beds!  If you have little ones, protect them – keep them out of the sun whenever possible, especially between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Invest in high quality sunscreen (Need some help? Check out this list). Don’t let your babies get a sunburn; every sunburn you have before you’re 18 increases your risk of skin cancer.

Above all, check your skin. Know what’s normal and what’s not. If you have a question, see your doctor.

We do little things every day to keep ourselves and our family safe. Add this one to this list.

You’ve probably already seen the Dear 16 Year Old Me video, but if you haven’t, please check it out. I cry every time I watch it, no joke. It’s a moving reminder that little things, like putting on sunscreen and checking our skin weekly, can make a profound difference in our lives.

And while you’re at it, watch this video. Can you believe it’s been 13 years since “Wear Sunscreen” was all over the radio? It’s really great advice… and so true. What a difference a few years makes.

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