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Crave Your SPF

Updated on May 13, 2015
Tawny before skin cancer (L), and with another round of it (R).
Tawny before skin cancer (L), and with another round of it (R).

The Beatles seemed to like the sun. Several of their songs are credited to Mr. Sun- "Here Comes the Sun", "Sun King", "I'll Follow the Sun". For them, their admiration of the sun probably is because Liverpool is always foggy or rainy. They didn't even worry about skin cancer.

Sun lovers know all about skin cancer. They know it happens, but not to them. They know they should use a tan lotion high in SPF, but they choose tanning oil with no SPF because it tans faster and give s bronze look. They know the sun damages their skin in just a few hours, yet, they sunbath all day, because, that stuff only happens to other people! Age does cause much of this attitude. Youth always gives that false sense of security and invincibility to disease and death. It goes with the territory, even if it occurs to someone their age.

So, this was the general train of thought of 27-yr. old Tawny Willoughby, an RN. When she was a teen, she laid in the sun 4-5 days a week to get that awesome golden bronze tan that everyone envied. She would hunker down in the tanning booths for some real concentrated rays and came out stunningly radiating- literally. Then when she entered into her 20's, for her 21st birthday, she got her first of five basal cell carcinoma diagnoses. She was shocked. But, youth has a way of dismissing shock and she did. Once gone, she went right back into the sun for the tan and like clockwork, another batch of basal cell carcinoma. So, for a few times, over the following years, she went through this revolving door. Having that golden bronze body was so important. The last batch hit her at age 27. For being an RN, one has to ask, WTF? How can this occur to a person trained in the health field? She really has no explanation and accepts all the blame. Perhaps it was her "sun" addiction.

To help dispel the attitude that Mr. Sun means well, she posted her cancer picture on Facebook, to shock others. Melanoma rates for people between 18 and 39 years old are up 800% since 1970. This is the most common cancer for those under 30. As for tanning booths,tanning indoors increases cancer risk by 70%!

Melanoma is the deadly skin cancer. It IS the one you do not want to get. Basal cell is less invasive and in most cases, recovery is complete (Tawny can attest to this). So, if you must lay in the sun, use at least a 35 SPF or higher lotion. Using tanning oil seldom has any SPF higher than 10. True, it will give you that golden tan but there is a price- just ask Tawny.


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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Really don't understand the teens, why being tan is important than good health!

    • profile image

      Lee Cloak 2 years ago

      A crucial hub, a must read for everbody, very well done, voted up, Thanks, Lee

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 2 years ago

      Thanks. I have found that even using a 45 spf lotion, you still can get a tan but it may take longer and may not be the dark bronze. Of course, when Tawny is much older, the heavy tanning she did will show on her skin and face in wrinkles and texture.

    • aprilsemogan profile image

      aprilsemogan 2 years ago


      This is a great article! It is really helpful for everyone and I find it very informative. I'll make sure to remember the tips you mentioned especially that I am fond of going to the beach. Voted up. Thank a lot! :)

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 2 years ago from Auburn, WA

      Truly important article. Voted up and shared. Thx.