Football play filled chalkboard with a red sunhat, tube of sunscreen, and magnifying glass with a mole underneath.

Skin Care Discipline, Advice From a Top- Level Coach

Last updated: November 2022

Sean McDermott is very successful.

He is only one of 32 people in the world in his current occupation. At only 47 years of age, he is the head coach of the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills. He has helped take a perennially underperforming team to a championship level one. He is known for being disciplined, but not overbearing. He holds his players accountable without being a micro manager. His way works. His teams are winning regularly. He has created high levels of expectation and meets them. He wins.

Sean also has skin cancer

In fact, according to an interview with the Today Show, he has had squamous cell carcinoma several times. He has had Mohs surgery. He has had so many spots taken off that he has lost track of the number. He blames it on not wearing sunblock and heredity (he has family member who have had skin cancer). His mom tried to get him to wear sunscreen, but he pushed back. He wishes he hadn’t. He is fair-skinned, but, like many of us, always wanted a darker shade. Yet, he never actually tanned, he burned. Sean was undisciplined in his approach to protecting his skin. He needed to change.1

He has changed

He became disciplined in his approach to sun care. He got his mind right. At a young age he began seeing the dermatologist on a regular basis. He began performing self-checks and would make an appointment if something didn’t seem right. Now, he has such a good relationship with his dermatologist that he feels comfortable taking selfies of suspected skin cancers and getting an evaluation through digital communication. He now wears sun protective clothing and sun screen (at or above SPF 50). He wants to be prepared. He wants you to know something.

Sean has some advice, whether you like sports or not

He wants everyone to know that you should schedule regular appointments with a dermatologist. Just like “muscle memory” is important for sports, creating good habits is critical for skin care. Routine is important. Sean answers the critical “why” question when it comes to developing a healthy regimen. He does it because he wants to see his children grow up. I can’t think of a better motivator.

What lessons we can all learn from Sean?

  • Listen to your mom when she tries to protect your skin.
  • Realize that unhealthy habits CAN be changed.
  • Take a multi-faceted approach to skin protection, which includes wearing sun screen and protective clothing, scheduling regular checkups, and performing regular self-exams.
  • Understand that surgical procedures are not fun, but they beat having more serious issues later.
  • Try to develop a good relationship with your dermatologist.
  • Find “big picture” reasons for protecting your skin, such as being with family.
  • Use your platform to influence others toward better skin care practices.
  • Remember that thoughts lead to actions, which lead to habits, which can eventually become a way of life.
    Don’t fall into the “needing to be tan” trap.

What does Sean’s story teach you?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

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

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

How often do you go for a skin check?