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The Sunburn Legacy

Kathy Werner
Posted 7/16/21

I have just come back from the dermatologist’s office after having yet another of those little surgeries for my sun-damaged skin. Both Mom and Dad had melanoma, so I try to be extra diligent …

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Lifelines

The Sunburn Legacy

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I have just come back from the dermatologist’s office after having yet another of those little surgeries for my sun-damaged skin. Both Mom and Dad had melanoma, so I try to be extra diligent about seeing my skin doc.

Thinking back on my younger days, I can remember lots of sunburns. We blondes considered a sunburn a good “base” for our eventual tans. There was no other way to get tan back then. Sometimes we used tanning lotion, of course. I remember the ads for “Bain de Soleil for that St. Tropez tan.” Everyone wanted to be tan and there was no one warning us that it was bad.

Of course, my siblings and I also rode five across in the backseat of the Chevy without seatbelts and no one thought that was bad, either.

It was a different time, my children.

So we worked on our tans like it was our job. The smell of lightly singed flesh meant it was summer. After I got married, I began playing golf with my husband John and our friends at the Port Jervis Country Club. It was great fun and meant long days in the sunshine.

And, of course, the introductory sunburn was all part of the fun. Sort of.

I remember playing golf on our honeymoon in Bermuda and I got such a sunburn that I wore John’s long sleeve turtleneck to protect myself. Ouch! But so necessary to get that groovy tan.

Of course, the world is older and wiser now. Among other things, we have realized that kids need to be in car seats until they go to college. We have also recognized that sun damage is no joke, and we now have lotions to protect us. Sunscreen creams keep out harmful UVB rays, but make sure you check the expiration date!

Friends who used expired sunscreen were badly burned one day at the beach. Who knew that sunscreen expired? But it does. By the way, an SPF 30 lotion blocks 97% of harmful rays, and experts tell us to reapply often.

So now we know. Great news for today’s kids, but a little late for those of us who liked to sizzle in the summer sun.

Right now I have a large bandage on my face and it’s making me re-think some of my life choices. Not sure all those sunburns and eventual tans were worth it. Protect your skin. You can thank me later.

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