My Story and Skin Safety
It's finally finally getting warm here in DC. Not summer I need to be at the beach warm but just warm enough where you don't feel silly walking out without a jacket and may even risk wearing shorts or a dress outdoors. With the temperatures heating up, it's the perfect time to stand on my soap box and chat about skin safety.
Although I don't chat about it often, it's pretty noticeable in pictures or in person that I have vitiligo. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder where your immune cells think your melanin cells are unhealthy even though they are not and kill them. This leaves the person with albino white spots all over their body. Think model Winnie Harlow and singer Michael Jackson. I've had vitiligo since I was 12 years old when the first spot appeared. And since then, I've had to be extra careful with my skin.
Everyone regardless of skin color has melanin in their skin, hair, and even eyes. It's what gives us our color. Melanin has the ability to absorb some of the suns rays (not all!) giving people with darker skin a bit more protection from the sun than people wither fairer skin. It's what allows your one friend to tan beautifully over the summer and the other to turn into a lobster. However, people who have vitiligo such as myself or people who are albino do not have any melanin. No melanin means no protection from the sun. Therefore, we must be extra extra careful when being in the sun because there's a higher chance of getting harmed from the sun. Meaning higher chances of a sun burn to higher chances of skin cancer.
While I personally NEED to be cautious and safe in the sun, it doesn't mean the rest of the world is safe from it. For over a decade I've consulted with dermatologists and chatted with skincare professionals to keep my skin as safe as I can possibly keep it. And with the temperatures raising each and every day, I'm sharing a few tips to keep your skin safe.
PUT ON SUNSCREEN! Holy shit if there's anything you could ever do for your skin it is to wear sun screen. It'll keep your skin from burning and turning into gross leather when you're old. And not just the SPF in your make up real sunscreen is the best.
Apply and reapply sunscreen often. Every 30-45min you should be reapplying your sunscreen. Sure it's a hassle but treating second degree burns or skin cancer is worse.
Wear a hat! Double the protection! Hats are a fantastic way to keep the sun from your face. And they're cute! Win win!
Sit in the shade. Come on this is a no brainer. If it's 90 degrees out don't go sit directly under the sun. You're smart act like it.
Do monthly body checks for any new moles, freckles and spots. In the summer months up those monthly checks to biweekly checks. Being proactive is the BEST way to avoid any scares in the future.
Stay hydrated! This goes without saying, but the summer months are hot you're sweating out a ton of water from your body and your skin needs to stay hydrated to protect you. If it's not hydrated properly is weakens allowing more damage to occur. This can cause wrinkles, broken skin and, much more!
And with all that, I'm getting off my soapbox, I hope I've either provided you with some new information, reminded you of some old information you may have forgotten or, scared you into listening to facts you already knew.
PSA I'm not a dermatologist or any other kind of doctor. If you have any medical related questions, please ask your doctor.