Resolutions for the New Year--Skin Cancer Style

Last updated: January 2023

We can’t stop it…the new year is here. You don’t have to pay very close attention to notice resolution banter all around. Social media posts feature any number of suggestions for things we can all improve upon. We all know from experience that weight loss and exercise are two of the most popular. Whether you are one of the millions who make a resolution or two as you head into the new year, January is a great time to adopt a new mindset when it comes to skincare.

Resolving to do better with skin care

Since my melanoma diagnosis in 2007, I have done a much better job of taking care of my skin. Skin cancer is always on my mind whether I am heading in for a skin check, doing a self-exam, or trying to plan a vacation and stay sun-safe. Regardless of how much I have improved since my tanning days, I can always use a refresher. Heading into the new year, I have a few things in mind I would like to revamp.

  1. Carry sunscreen with me. This is not something I struggle with during the summer months, but I admit I am not as diligent in the fall and winter. This year, I plan to keep a small bottle or tube with me for reapplication throughout the day when I am out and about.
  2. Price and make a plan to buy window tint for my car. This is a big one. Every car I have had until my most recent one had tinted windows. The car I bought two years ago, and the one I hope to have for several more, does not. The sun beating down on my skin through the windows is noticeable–I didn’t realize what a difference window tint made until I didn’t have it protecting me.
  3. Work toward getting sunscreen dispensers for our local parks. If I am being honest, I have been tossing this one around for while now, but I haven’t gotten the project up and running. This year, I plan to delve more into researching the first steps and work with local officials to provide sunscreen free of charge in our parks. Having sunscreen available for those who may not use it regularly or for those who have left home without it is an important step in changing mindsets.
  4. Efudex. That’s a loaded word and, if you have used this chemotherapy cream, you know that’s really all I need to say. It’s time for some spot treatments, and one of those spots is on my lipline. I have put it off through the holidays, but I am psyching myself up to power through a round of it before the weather warms up in the spring. It’s not something I look forward to, but precancers are neverending.
  5. Post more on social media about the dangers of tanning. I am not sure why I have let this slack over the last couple of years. Roughly four years ago, I started sharing my personal experience online. I have been diagnosed with melanoma and both basal and squamous cell carcinomas. My abundance of precancers is a result of sun damage from tanning for many years. I want to ramp up my advocacy for sun safety and share the dangers associated with tanning salons.

A year of sun-safe practices

Every year is different and has the potential to be bigger and better than the last. This year, my “bigger and better” will be all about skin cancer prevention–my own and those around me.

Are you making resolutions about skincare this year? Do your resolutions involve sun-safe practices? Let us know about your resolutions for the new year in the comment section.

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