The very first time I wore a bikini, I was 17. I’d just finished my senior year in high school, I had a brand new gorgeous young woman shape and a two-week vacation at a Caribbean island ahead. I remember the day my mom agreed to buy it for me; she even came with me to the shop, and her feedback about my then recent weight loss success absolutely made my day. I was so happy!
However, I had no idea of what was expecting me…
Sunburn comes with serious skin damage and risks of more severe conditions like melanoma and other types of skin cancer. There are ways to prevent them.Read More
Awareness about skin damage by sunburn
After an hour-and-a-half flight, we got to the beautiful Margarita Island. The best thing about the timeshare beach resort where we were staying in was its safety, therefore, kids and teenagers’ autonomy, plus parents’ peace of mind… at least a bit of it. The place had a private beach, but at the time we got there, it was kind of crowded. At one in the afternoon, my parents wanted to have lunch and settle in the little villa assigned to us, but my sister and I decided to hang out by the swimming pool. I can still hear my mom’s nagging “put on sunscreen!” which I couldn’t care less about.
" I can still hear my mom’s nagging 'put on sunscreen!' "
Many of us haven’t learnt it -or maybe we don’t want to learn it? I did become a bit more aware of the dangers of excessive sun exposure, but I stubbornly wanted to get tanned. At 37, I perhaps have too many freckles and tiny white spots on my skin. Nowadays I do put on sunscreen on my face and arms (especially before driving during daytime), but the initial damage is already done to my skin. I’ve been lucky so far, but I ought to be careful.
"My best friend died of a very aggressive melanoma a year ago. He was a 45-year-old single father; he was handsome, peaceful, and generous; he loved cooking with me while listening to Pink Floyd. His favorite sport was rock climbing, but he did it shirtless. The constant sun exposure caused him a small lesion on his back, probably the precancerous actinic keratosis, left untreated. Today, I miss him horribly."