I first saw this video on Good Morning America last summer. The video is really an “eye-opener” to the damaging effects of the sun. As a Physician Assistant in the Dermatology field, it is interesting to see how many patients either don’t know just how dangerous the sun and tanning beds are or they realize the dangers but do not care. Despite the fact that our society now knows that the sun causes caner, the incidence of Melanoma is on the rise. I cannot tell you how many times a day we diagnose a skin cancer and the patient says “But I am never out in the sun.” What people do not realize is just by going about their daily actives…errands, working out, walking the dog, grilling out, etc.- they are exposed to the sun and without sunscreen- their skin is getting damaged. Another thing patients do not always realize is that the cancers that we diagnose are not from RECENT sun damage; the cancers stem from damage to the skin from YEARS ago.
When you are young, you do not see wrinkles on your face. You do not see brown spots and freckles. Your face is smooth, not leathered and weathered looking. But without protection, these things will happen and cancerous lesions will EVENTUALLY develop. No one is perfect- but that most important thing to do is to be aware of the effects of the sun- and to do your best to protect yourself- wear a hat, wear cover ups, apply and reapply sunscreen, etc. You do your best without going crazy. and that is that, my friends!