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Skin Care Health: Don’t Stick Your Head in the Sand

Many years ago, I was waiting to get my hair cut and looking through Good Housekeeping magazine when I came across an article on skin cancer. I didn’t really think at the time it would have anything to do with me, but I had time to kill waiting for my appointment, so I read it.

I grew up on the beaches of Southern California before sun block was a given, and looking at the pictures they showed in the article, I thought “hey, I think I might have one of these pre-skin caners they’re talking about.”

So I made an appointment with a recommended dermatologist. She put a magnifying glasses on my face and marked the spots on my forehead and lip that she thought were of concern. Then, she gave me a type of Chemotheropy cream and told me to use it for a month and then switch to Aquaphor healing ointment.  Magic!

2004 … my first experience with this “magic” cream.

The cream only affects the area where there is a problem, and as you can see, I had the biggest red mustache and red nose. It’s almost like scrubbing bubbles …  it eats off the bad stuff. When I went back in to see the doctor she said, “Wow, you really stuck with it, most people don’t.”  

I’m not going to lie, it’s rough, uncomfortable and an ugly drag! But you have to do it! And, after Aquaphor for a week you would have never known anything happened. 

Fast forward to present day … 
 
Now I always keep a look out for odd spots or rough patches, and for about a year, I have noticed two small spots on the edge of my lip (like chapped areas that never went away) and another spot close to my hairline that, although it wasn’t raised or flakey, always felt raw.
 
I went back to the dermatologist and sure enough she said they were  pre-cancer and perscribed the cream again. Because I have to go back to work next week, she said do the cream twice a day for 10 days and seven days of Aquaphor for recovery. 
 
Believe me it’s a fright…it looks like two cigarettes were put out above my lip, BUT IT HAS TO BE DONE!
 
Ignored skin cancer can kill you!  Take care of it before it turns into something more serious. I  have always jokenly said, “I don’t want any barnacles on my hull,” but seriously … if you stay somewhat on top of it, it won’t get out of hand and you very well may save your life.
 
Someone shared with me yesterday that one of the soap websites shared my recent Instagram post about this, titling their article “Days of Our Lives Start Mary Beth Evans’ New Year’s Health Scare!” I laughed at that dramatic title … because it wasn’t really a scare (It wasn’t melanoma or anything that serious). It doesn’t have to be scary if you stay on top of it! But then again, if this gets people talking and makes them more vigilant about their health, then I’m all for it!
 
Here’s to tackling your health and taking care of yourself in 2018!

10 Comments

  1. skin care is most important.

  2. Wow, thank you for this helpful information. I’ve lost many family/friends to cancer, I think it would have been a good thing to have this information back then. Thank you, and Happy 2018.

  3. Kayla Sheaffer

    My best friend is struggling with melanoma as we speak. Almost every few weeks she’s getting another spot removed. She goes outside all covered up now and in the last year year had to have a part of her ear reconstructed. Because she wasn’t persay a beach person growing up we’ve recently wondered if the tanning beds she would go to could’ve contributed to her getting melanoma. The answers are yes! So please be aware of that as well everyone and take great care if your skin.MB thank you dear for your honesty…xo

  4. Positive spin, as usual, MB! While dramatic, it is important to raise awareness about skin cancer. So, I’m glad the soap mag ran with it!
    Absolutely know your body and pay attention for changes. Catching most things early can prevent problems later. I recently had a patient who came in with knee pain for months and was just “dealing” with it. I found she simply had tight hamstring tendons. I showed her a few stretches and after 2 days, the pain was gone. If she had kept “dealing” the malalignment of the knee would have cause irreversible arthritis.
    Kudos on another important talking point!

  5. Connie Leinicke

    A few months ago I discovered a lifelong mole had gone crazy in both size and color. It is almost scary how I emotionally teetered on the edge of needing to know versus not wanting to know for several weeks before I picked up the phone and called my physician. Two weeks later it was diagnosed as nothing to worry about and removed with cryosurgery. Hours/days/months of anguish can be saved by picking up the phone and calling the doctor. Thanks so very much for bringing this topic to the forefront, Mary Beth!

  6. May I ask why you opted for the cream versus the liquid nitrogen? I’ve always been given a choice at my appointments, but the cream is a longer more tedious process and the “freezing” technique is quick and the healing begins immediately. Just curious!! Kudos for going. I know first hand how hard it is to be a sun lover when it’s so bad for you!

  7. Thanks for the reminder about rough patches. I grew up in an age where we have been more sunscreen aware, but have had times where I have been more careless wanting to get some color where Summer is barely 3 months of the year here (Boston area). But I’m a freckly/moley person! I have had 3 removed which would have been classified as dysplastic or precancerous. I see the dermatologist annually, and we measure photograph anything of concern after a full body check! It’s a little invasive I admit, but gives peace of mind. AFter all that I never really think about rough patches though! Thank you for the reminder.

  8. Such an important message. I grew up in So California practically living on the beach in the 50’s. I’ve had a couple of pre cancerous spots removed. I visit the dermatologist regularly. Thank you for sharing this!

  9. I used Aquaphor faithfully after radiation for breast cancer. Worked great if you keep it up.

    Karol

  10. Aquaphor helped to clear a few sores & burns I received from radiation treatment. Most doctors recommend it…my oncologist gave me a few samples, it really works good. My niece had used it also.

    Wishing you a happy & healthy new year!

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