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Then: Sunbathing

Now: Sun Spots

When I was in high school, my girlfriends and I would spread out our towels by a pool or at the beach, turn on our transistor radios, slather our bodies with baby oil and spend hours and hours sunbathing.  We talked and laughed, sharing our most intimate secrets.  It was the perfect way to spend a summer day.  And the perfect way to abuse our skin.

Not that we knew it then.  And if we had, we may not even have listened.  

We would sizzle in the sun, moving over a few inches every half hour or so, as the sun moved across the sky.  As if we wouldn't be getting enough rays if we weren't directly facing that big ball of heat.  

Sometimes we switched to Ban de Soleil (Ah, that distinct smell - rich, greasy, luxurious.)  But we never used anything to block the sun.  After all, we were young, with the world at our feet.  We felt immortal.  Nothing could bring us down.  

Today, I'm paying for that behavior.  A recent trip to the dermatologist reminded me of my reckless sunbathing.  It seems that the majority of the spots on my arms and face  were caused by too much sun.  Several were pre-cancerous, most of them were not.  And I say "were", because thanks to my doctor, they are no longer decorating my skin.  Using his nifty liquid nitrogen tool, he approached my body like a little boy with a toy gun, zapping away the dangerous discolorations.    

It's a little strange now to look down at my skin and not see the brown spots which, believe it or not, I had come to accept as part of the "older me."  My hands do look a bit younger, but certainly not young enough to justify my resignation in the senior citizen club.    

I left the doctor's office loaded with knowledge about sunscreens.  It appears that the one vital and necessary ingredient for a good sunscreen is zinc oxide.  Which, by the way, I did to apply to my nose back then.  Thank God.  My nose peeled enough times to qualify for onion status.  I can only imagine how it would look now if I had not used the zinc.  

Today when I go out to the beach with my friends, we stretch out in the shade, turn on a CD player and slather our aging bodies with high powered sunscreens.  We enjoy each others company, laughing and talking, sharing our most intimate secrets.    

The best things haven't changed at all.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pamaloon wrote Oct 10, 2010
    • Oh, Janie! I am right there with you. I am paying for all those hours in the sun. We used to see who could have the best tan for the first day of school - ay yiyiyiyi! I have covered my kids with sunscreen since day one, and I am still nagging them - lol!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Oct 10, 2010
    • I remember oh-so-well the hours in the sun, believing that baking my skin would give me “color,” make me “healthy” and clear up any skin problems.  Wow, huh?  

      Yes, these days I’m usually under an umbrella, too, but also still enjoying the outdoors.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Allinet48 wrote Oct 11, 2010
    • I was never a lie in the sun and bake sort,(probably because I tanned easily.)More the riding horses, swimming and  playing outside sports sort. No one knew of sun block when we were young. Yes spots now(look like freckles),but when I was in late 20’s started using face cream. Then face cream w/sun screen in it. Now my meds are giving me dark marks on face even w/ sun screen SPF30+. Found OTC cream that is helping to fade these.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Oct 12, 2010
    • Oh we would climb on top of someone’s garage to get us that much closer to scorching sun. And sometimes we would lay in they yard with the sprinkler going over us every once in awhile.....oh those carefree days...............

      Ok now here is the conversation I have with my kids using a high pitched voice ” don’t forget honey to put on sunscreen and use the extra special one on your face....you can always use a self tanner if you must not be pasty”  and their response is “MAAAAAAAAAA” in their best imitation of a cow mooing!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Oct 13, 2010
    • I never liked the sun, and while everyone of my girlfriends baked on the sun I was in a shade.  

      Imagine how pissed off I was when I started getting sun spots. When I complained to my dermatologist, he looked at me and said:

      “What do you want? You are over 40.”

      Like 40 is a tabu and an over the hill syndrome.

      I couldn’t help myself, I let him have it....estaticestaticestatic



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