Have you ever heard someone, including your doctor, say "Don't forget to apply sunscreen," "Look for shade when you're outside", or "Get an annual skin check"?
This advice is worth listening to, but do we? It can be easy to gloss over important medical advice because we can't picture the implications of ignoring it. The truth is exposure to UV radiation causes early aging of the skin and damage that can lead to skin cancer.
By sharing stories from dermatologists, we’re able to capture the root of why it’s important to follow these recommendations and stay sun safe.
Here are two stories from dermatologists that detail different lessons in sun safety.
Creating Awareness About UV Damage Through Social Media with Dr. Beth Goldstein
Dr. Beth Goldstein is a dermatologist and the founder of Modern Ritual Health. When asked about a skin story, she described how TikTok helped a follower get a necessary skin screening:
"Our company, Modern Ritual Health, is on Tiktok. I have many postings around information about skin cancer detection, treatment, and prevention.
A recent customer searched on Tiktok about skin cancer, she saw my Tiktok about needing to get her spot checked and found that a local pharmacy near her had the option to use our screening program.
She was able to book an appointment online, get screened, and be seen within 3 days! We are seeking to improve access for high-risk patients to get into a dermatology office sooner than normally available and it worked." - Dr. Beth Goldstein
Getting A Second Chance At Sun Protection With Dr. Sajic
Dr. Dusan Sajic is a double board-certified dermatologist and anti-aging medicine provider, and the founder of Sajik Skin. When asked about a powerful skin story, he recounted when a gentleman had a second chance:
"It was a hot summer day when Mr. Smith walked into my office for his cosmetic consultation. He was a middle-aged man who was starting to show signs of aging and photodamage on his skin.
As I examined his skin, I noticed that the freckles seemed to be more than just regular sun spots. They were larger and darker than I would normally expect to see from sun damage alone.
Mr. Smith, I think it would be a good idea to consider a biopsy to rule out the possibility of melanoma.
Mr. Smith's eyes widened in alarm. Melanoma? That's serious. Is it really necessary? I assured Mr. Smith that, while melanoma is a serious condition, it is also readily curable if caught early such as in his case. I explained that catching it early is crucial to ensuring a positive outcome. Mr. Smith reluctantly agreed to the biopsy.
The biopsy revealed that the freckles were indeed a melanoma, but it was caught in the early stages, known as "in situ." With any melanoma - definitive treatment means more surgery. Mr. Smith agreed and, following surgery, was successfully cured.
I also emphasized that, as a melanoma survivor, Mr. Smith was at an increased risk of developing a second melanoma in the future, particularly in the first five years following treatment. I stressed the importance of taking proper precautions to protect his skin going forward." - Dr. Dusan Sajic
What’s Your Skin Story?
Just like these doctors, many of us have our own stories and lessons learned when it comes to sun protection. Anything from a bad sunburn to an experience with melanoma is something worth sharing to help someone else prevent sun damage and skin cancer.
Our skin story is what started UV Skinz. Be sure to read more about us here and browse our sun-protective clothing and swimwear to keep yourself and your loved ones sun safe.