As a teenager growing up in England my favourite summer pastime was sunbathing with friends. I have been extremely lucky to have not developed skin cancers (to date) and I am willing to start to take better care.
It's all about awareness really, and people are aware, they just need to take it seriously and notice it more. Knowing the consequences and being mindful of how easy it is to avoid, life in general, being out and about, is much easier, happier and less painful.
I first discovered skin problems via a visit to a skin cancer clinic in our district twenty years ago and have had lots of varying treatments since, including surgery. The common reference was “this damage was done when you were in your teens and lived in the surf."
In my early 20s I developed a butterfly rash on my face that wouldn't go away. I was quickly diagnosed with discoid lupus and my specialist stressed that it was very important for me to stay protected from the sun. This was in the early 80s and I was living in Queensland, so it was a tough call.
You can be photosensitive for genetic reasons or due to the use of skin care products, over the counter or prescription drugs. Learn about the two types of photosensitivity and how photosensitive skin can be protected.