There are over 5 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, making it the most common cancer in the country. Surprisingly, skin cancer is one of the most preventable.
May is skin cancer awareness month. In honor of this month and with summer right around the corner, I wanted to share my story. In hopes that it will bring awareness and even help prevent someone we know from dealing with what I had to go through… and it could have been so much worse.
I was 29 years old when I was diagnosed with melanoma. Before that, I had a precancerous spot removed from my back about 5 years prior that left me with stitches and a scar. I had not seen a dermatologist since then but something was telling me to make an appointment to get a basic skin check.
The dermatologist noticed a dark black spot on the top of my left ear. It wasn’t more than a centimeter long so I just thought it was a freckle. Full disclosure, I have tons of sunspots and have the type of skin that freckles in the sun. Well, sure enough, the doctor took one look and said that has to go immediately. So my ear freckle along with several other spots were biopsied. Two weeks later I got the call saying it was melanoma.
I do remember a time a couple summers back... One weekend at the lake, I forgot to put sunscreen on my ear and got a blistering sunburn. I imagine that weekend did the bulk of the damage. But I also know there were countless days in the sun when my ears went unprotected. You know how easy it can be to forget those ears.
Finding out that I had skin cancer (and the worst kind at that) was unsettling to say the least. I was referred to a skin cancer clinic and they saw me right away. If I saw the dermatologist for the ear freckle situation in August, I’d say that in about 4 appointments and 6 weeks later, the nightmare was over. I’ll skip over the gory details and just say I have a few more big scars from the experience. I had a massive bandage covering my ear for about a month and the weeks in between when my ear was healing were not the most fun. But I really can't complain, the doctors did an amazing job fixing me right up.
I am extremely fortunate to have caught the melanoma early enough. I’m also lucky that it was on my ear, a place that may have taken longer for it to spread. That freckle had been there for at least a year, so it’s scary to think what could have happened if it was somewhere else. Needless to say, I get my skin checks regularly now.
I have since had several spots removed that were also pre-cancerous. I told the doctors I had been so good about sun protection! Their response was that it was probably damage from years ago that has been getting worse over time. Moral of the story, even if you wear long sleeves, a hat and stay under an umbrella all day, you could still have sun damage from your younger years. My high school and college tanning days still haunt me.
Enter: Seafoam Glow Self-Tanning Mousse. I have finally come to terms with myself, I am fair and freckly. And I have learned to love my skin. But even if you bronze like a goddess in the sun, you are still prone to sun damage. That’s why we created Seafoam Glow Self-tanning Mousse. So you can get as golden as your heart desires and still use ALL the sun protection your skin deserves.
- Annie, Co-Founder