Skin Cancer Protection Following a Skin Cancer Diagnosis: An Ultra-conservative Approach

Each of us has a different skin cancer story, and for this reason, skin protection following a skin cancer diagnosis is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. For me, skin cancer has been a very prominent part of my life since June 2018, when I received my initial skin cancer diagnosis. Because I see the threat of skin cancer to me as a very real concern in my life, I have chosen to take an ultra-conservative approach to protecting my skin. I am outdoors only as much as I absolutely have to be, which is really not very much. My office garage is a couple of blocks from my office, and my walk to and from my office garage is the bulk of the time I spend outdoors. I wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat every day of the year. Similarly, I wear a UPF jacket when my sleeves are not full-length or the fabric in my blouse is lightweight, which is all spring and summer.

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No beach for me

You will not see me at the beach. I do not care that I can lay on the beach in UPF clothes or a UPF swimsuit. And I do not feel comfortable with an umbrella shading me. Sun protective measures at the beach sound good in theory, but it never works out that way for me. I am very fair-skinned, and the one area of skin I miss with sunscreen always gets scorched. Or, I think I am being shaded by an umbrella, but some sun is coming through at some other point. Again, the result is that my skin gets scorched. For these reasons, the beach has not felt safe to me for quite some time, and I thoughtfully choose not to go.

I don't chance it in the sun

You may ask why I have chosen an ultra-conservative approach to my skin protection. It is very simple in my mind. It is evident to me from my repeated run-ins with skin cancer and other skin issues that I have exceeded my quota for sun exposure/ultraviolet light. Considering this fact, I now choose to do all that is in my power not to make my skin situation any worse than it already is. As Scott Matheny explained in his article Cumulative Sun Exposure, sun exposure is very much cumulative in nature. I whole-heartedly agree and understand that concept, as applied to me, very well. Therefore, for this reason, I choose not to further subject my skin to the sun unnecessarily.

I choose to stay protected

I get it that my ultra-conservative approach to skin protection is not a popular approach, but for me this is not about winning friends and/or influencing people. Rather, I have to do what I know is best for my skin and my overall health. In this life, we all make choices, and we live with the consequences. In my case, I believe that the consequences of ongoing sun exposure will lead to even more skin cancer for me. Sure, I get it that I may undergo more skin cancer in the future based on my prior sunlight/UV light exposure/family history. However, at this time, I feel compelled to do everything in my power to work towards the best outcome for me in the future: No More Skin Cancer.

We live in a free country, thankfully, and we also have the free will to choose how we will protect our skin following a skin cancer diagnosis. As for me, I have given the situation a lot of thoughtful consideration, and I choose an ultra-conservative approach to protecting my skin.

How about you? What approach have you chosen to protecting your skin? How did you arrive at that approach? Are you feel comfortable with your approach?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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