40 Comments

  1. Christie, good information. I decided when I was still in my 20s that I wanted to avoid melanoma AND look good when I got old, so I started paying attention to these things! I also don’t use sunless tanners because 1) I don’t like the smell, 2) I want to embrace my natural color (or lack thereof!) and just envy, rather than imitate, those blessed with more color than me!

    • You’re one of the smart ones Jean! I’m embarrassed to admit, I continued to bake myself through young adulthood. I’m much more careful now, especially since my sister’s diagnosis 10 years ago. In addition, you have a good point about embracing our natural color.

  2. Liz Gwynn

    I am guilty of being a sun worshipper. When I was a teenager and in my 20’s, I would love to be in the sun and occasionally go tanning even. Being outside, I would always wear sunscreen, but didn’t reapply as often as I should.
    Now that I have Elsie, I am CRAZED about skin protection! I read that the more severe burns you get as a child can drastically increase your risk of melanoma. She gets high coverage swim wear, floppy hats, lots of sunscreen, the whole drill.
    The good news is that it really helps me be safer as well!
    Thanks for the post!

    • I, too, was a sun worshipper through young adulthood, Liz. I have become much more careful about it. I still enjoy the sun, but I’m more vigilant with the sunscreen and sunglasses. I’m thinking maybe I should add a hat to the mix now. You are such a darling Mom! I love you!

  3. Christie, GREAT post. This is so important! I participate in a short melanoma walk each September with a small org here in Chicago that is developing a tissue bank: Skin of Steel. I also have been treated twice for pre-cancer issues on my face – and am a big proponent now of Zinc sunscreen. This is a reminder for me about sunglasses. This is my weak point. Thanks for the nudge!

    • That’s great, Janet. My sister was saying it’s much harder to find events related to raising awareness or funds for melanoma than it is for many other types of cancer–in our area at least. And then we found this walk. Find yourself some great sunglasses and you can make a fashion statement and be responsible at the same time! 🙂

  4. Great reminder, Christie! Australia has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world so our Slip, Slop, Slap Message has been around for quite some time. I’m still amazed that people, especially young people, still strive for the perfect tan and don’t worry about the damage the sun is doing to their skin. In Brisbane, our weather is temperate so winters are still quite warm and we still need to be sunsmart. Thanks for sharing your message and linking up with us at #MLSTL. Have a wonderful week and I’ll be sharing on social media. xx

    • I had never heard of the Slip, Slop, Slap campaign until I started researching. I thought it was a clever way to get the message out. As teenagers and young adults, my sister and I spent hours tanning. Her melanoma diagnosis about 10 years ago, and then later in her lymph nodes, really opened our eyes. I now have an annual full-body mole exam and religiously use sunscreen. I still enjoy the sun, but I am more careful about how I do it.

  5. Love the Slip Slop Slap message, Christie! Such an important one as we head into spring and summer, especially in California! Gone are those days where I laid out on purpose and I always wear sunscreen and UPF clothing. Hate hats but I do what I can! Shared all over and read via #MLSTL 🙂

    • Those Australians know what they’re talking about when it comes to sun! 🙂 I am so looking forward to warm, sunny days, but I will be protecting my skin and eyes while I enjoy it. I don’t wear hats much either, except when I’m running. I’m going to try wearing them more, though, and see if I can get used to it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hello!
    Good information! I was just thinking I needed to go to the dermatologist, and this really gives me more incentive. I live in the US and it is springtime here-a mixture of sunny and rainy days. I can’t wait for the warm, sunny days of summer!

    • Yes, make the appointment today, Theresa! Early detection is key. Most likely it will just give you peace of mind that all is well going into the warm, sunny days of summer. We’re getting a lot of rain right now too, with just enough sunny days to give me hope that warmer weather is on its way!

  7. The whole slip, slop, slap thing has been thoroughly promoted in Australia Christie. We are a land of LOTS of sunshine and with it comes all the skin cancer risks for those of us who are fair skinned. I’ve worn a hat and sunscreen since my late teens (shame about my childhood and early teens though!) and I’ve still had a lot of spots and dots cut off over the years. Fortunately they’ve all been benign so far, but it’s always in the back of my mind.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Your story sounds a lot like mine Leanne–lots of unprotected sun in my early years, but I’m much more careful now, and I’ve had a lot of moles removed and tested, but so far they’ve all been benign. As I mentioned, my sister wasn’t so lucky. She’s been treated twice for melanoma–one surgically removed and then a second scarier bout that had spread to her lymph nodes and required a more rigorous treatment. She is doing well now!

  8. Growing up in Australia we never covered ourselves with any skin protection as nothing had been invented then. As a teacher in country schools in the 1970s we did not wear hats. Yes, sadly, Australia does have the highest rate for melanoma and skin cancers. My dad at 95, has ‘northern hemisphere skin’ living in the southern hemisphere. He grew up by the beach and played sport. Never wore a hat till his senior years. The messages get out here in Australia but sadly not everyone listens or remembers. In classrooms in Australian schools there will be a pump pack of S30 sunscreen to be applied at recess or lunch. Kids are not allowed to play out in the open areas unless they wear hats. This all goes out the window when they go to high school. Sigh. Parents might nag but teens do what is cool.

    Thanks so much for a very helpful post and I wish you well in your fundraising.

    Denyse #mlstl

    • Thanks for sharing this Denyse. I found the story of the sunscreen and hats in schools so interesting. What a great idea. In the cooler parts of the US, we wouldn’t let children go out to recess without coats, why let them go unprotected into the sun? As you said, you can educate and cajole and even nag, but in the end teenagers and adults will do as they please. Hopefully, we’re getting through to at least some of them. I’m not perfect at sun protection, but much better than I used to be.

  9. Such an important message. I too used to be a sun worshipper in my youth – well, we knew no better. I had a melanoma on my back removed a few years ago and it gave me quite a scare. Now I’m super careful about the sun. I hope your sister is okay.

    • I remember rubbing baby oil all over myself and then laying in the sun for hours. Ugh! But as you said, we know better now. I’m glad you discovered the melanoma and had it removed. Best wishes for good health! My sister is doing well now and remains super vigilant against further recurrences. She still enjoys the sun, but with proper protections in place. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jo.

  10. Hi, Christie – Thank you for these excellent reminders. I LOVE being outdoors but hate sunscreen. The good thing is that more and more ultra light and cooling clothing is available to help protect against the sun, while still keeping us cool, comfortable (and fashionable). Icebreakers brand is one of my favourites (no sponsorship, honest). I steadily rely on it, especially on long hikes.

  11. Excellent reminders, Christie. Glad to hear your sister is doing well. I’ve been careful with sun protection, doing the Slip Slop Slap and Wrap. We’re enjoying spring weather where I live. Sunny days and comfortable temps for this time of the year. #MLSTL

      • Hi Christie
        I think the increase in melanoma in those of us 50 and older relates to the amount of time we spent in the sun in our younger years. Pass the baby oil please. Our mothers didn’t spend as much time in the sun and covered up when they did. Hopefully our daughters will learn from our mistakes. I love you slip, slop, slap, wrap reminder. I’ve gotten much better at doing just that.

        Thanks
        Laura

        • I’m sure you are right, Laura. I did a lot of baby-oil suntanning when I was young as well and had a couple of nasty sunburns along the way. I believe our children and grandchildren are better educated on sun safety than we were. I’m glad to hear you are protecting yourself now. Enjoy your week!

  12. Hi Christie,

    So happy to hear you talk about protecting ourselves. As a skin cancer survivor, I’ll tell you. One scare is all it took. I wear sunscreen and/or sunblock all year long. I’m quick to throw a cap on outside and even a light shirt if need be. There are many types of skin cancer, as you know, and I certainly don’t want the big M (melanoma). I watched a few friends pass from melanoma because they thought tan was beautiful. Sadly, it’s not. I appreciate you spreading awareness.

  13. Hi, Christie! Timely post! The weather here in D/FW today is overcast. It’s 64 degrees right now, and we’re forecast to warm up to 85 this afternoon. It’s easy to forget sun protection when it’s overcast outside like today, but the danger is still present. Also I believe tanning beds are not safe either. I was just telling my friend the other day that I keep forgetting to put sunscreen on my arms and legs when I go biking, and I need to start remembering. I’m usually good about my face, because that’s where I’ve experienced some basal skin cell carcinoma. My husband has had melanoma that thankfully it was able to be cut out. Still very scary, though!

    I’m so glad your sister is okay! I had not heard of this walk, but I looked it up, and I see there is one in Dallas on May 4. Unfortunately, we already have plans for that weekend, but maybe next year.

    To me perfect weather is low 80s and sunny with just a hint of a breeze. I do wear sunscreen, but need to remember to do so more often. Usually an SPF of 30 or higher. Thank you for this post. I’ve shared it to my Pinterest board titled “Useful Information”.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Gale. I’m glad you and your husband are both cancer-free now. That is a scare and certainly a wake-up call. I wear sunscreen on my face daily–year round–but I don’t always sunscreen my arms and legs unless I plan to be in the sun for an extended period of time. It would probably be safer to just use sunscreen as my lotion when the warm weather arrives and the skin gets exposed. By the way, your perfect weather sounds perfect to me too! 80s in the day, cooler in the evening. Perfect. 🙂

      I had never heard of Steps Against Melanoma either until I saw it on Facebook. My sister had mentioned in years past that there didn’t seem to be any walks/runs for melanoma awareness. So we were happy to find this one. I hope next year it works out that you can participate. For now, thank you for your donation. It was a very pleasant surprise.

  14. I am still a sun worshiper. I do use sunscreen and wear a hat but I find the sun so relaxing. I have had one sunburn in my life and it was when I was about 12. I do use a lot of moisturizers and keep my skin well hydrated. I know how awful melanoma is and I know I should do better.

    • The fact that you use sunscreen and wear a hat and that you’ve only had one sunburn sounds like you are doing a good job of protecting yourself. I also love the sun and refuse to stay out of it. I do try to be smart about it. Enjoy your weekend! I hope it includes some time in the sun. 🙂

  15. All good tips! The weather here in Alabama today is going to get up to 77 with 30% rain. Perfect weather to me is sunshine with highs in the 80s and 90s! I do not use sunscreen, it all makes me itch and breaks me out but then due to some meds I use I can’t get out in the direct sun anyway. Thank you Christie for linking up and co-hosting with us at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty 36! Shared x 3 ♥

    • I love the 80s, Dee; 90 is starting to get a little too warm for me, but I’ll take that over the cold for sure! It sounds like you’re taking care of your skin by staying out of direct sunlight. As always, I’m wishing you the best health possible! Enjoy your weekend!

  16. Thoughtful, helpful tips. Love the slip, slop, slap, wrap. I learn so much better with cute helps like that. Haven’t a single, casual skirt for warm months. Need to remedy that. Doing much better about sunscreen, though. And sunglasses.

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