Obesity kills, yet food is obviously essential.  Why do we forget that sun kills?  I talk about sun exposure and tanning booths with patients all of the time.  Highly intelligent men and women somehow live in denial that their ongoing sun exposure can lead them to get melanoma.  Unless they had a family member die of it, the subject seems abstract.

But if I tell a woman in her thirties that putting on sunblock every morning will keep her skin gorgeous for decades to come, I feel like I am getting some traction.  It is simply interesting to me that patients are more apt to make this connection.

What motivates people to wear sunscreen doesn’t matter, so long as they do it to themselves and to their children (especially their children.)

Though we’ve known that excessive sun exposure can lead to melanoma, a recent study has shown that the rate of melanoma has been growing in women 40-50 years of age.  Perhaps they had gotten too much childhood sun before the danger of sun tanning was fully appreciated.  Or maybe they are still getting sun.


If melanoma doesn’t motivate you, just remember that sun exposure will make your skin crepey, wrinkled, thin, loose, and saggy well before its time.

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