What is your name?Linda
Describe yourself in 3 to 5 words.
Lover of all things natural.
What is your occupation?
Palliative Care Project Officer
Do you have any skin condition?
Eczema intermittently, solar keratosis, general sensitivity.
What is your attitude towards sun protection today?
The more years that pass, the more conscious I have become of the need to protect my skin. Swimming with a rash vest and hat are non-negotiable for me these days.
When I I was a teenager it was quite a different story, and I would frequently sun bake to get as brown as possible. There were several occasions I wasn't as conscious of being sun safe while at the beach, and endured severe burns as a result.
What would you tell your 16-year-old self about taking care of your skin and sun protection?
The damage that is caused today by the sun can never be undone, and a potential deep burn in the pursuit of the perfect tan is not worth risking future skin cancer.
I recently had a skin cancer scare which reminded of this. On a very overdue skin check, the doctor discovered something which had all the hallmark signs of a melanoma. When he discovered it I was about to leave on holidays. He told me not to worry not to enjoy my time away, but to come and see me to have a biopsy on my return. I spent the next week thinking of all the potential scenarios, praying it was benign.
After the biopsy I had a nervous few days wait for the results. Researching online I was startled to learn that close to one melanoma diagnosis is made every half hour in Australia. Thankfully I was one of the lucky ones and my mole was not cancerous. It was a timely reminder to me that the damage caused by those sunburns as a teen can never be erased, but that continued sun safety and regular skin checks can ensure that the likelihood of any nasty skin cancers can certainly be reduced.
Thank you Linda for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.