Protect the skin you’re in, part 2.

A few years ago, I wrote a post called “Protect The Skin You’re In”, right after being diagnosed with a malignant melanoma. Luckily, it was caught in time and a painful second operation (and an anxious wait for results) later, I was given the all clear.

Since then, I’ve looked after my skin better than most people on this planet – getting checked by a doctor every 6 months, staying out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day, covering up and slapping on the SPF 50. I’ve raised money for a skin cancer awareness charity, I’ve been the Annoying Suncream Crusader with my friends (sorry!) and I’ve told everyone who’s willing to listen my story, so that they would check themselves and avoid something that can be completely avoidable.

Having said that, right before Christmas I went for my check up and a suspicious growth was removed to be biopsied. I’ve always assumed this might happen again, but nothing prepares you for the anxiety that comes with the wait for results. During that time, every possible thought goes through your mind: did I not look after myself enough…? Am I being paranoid…? What if…? It’s a crippling time and I don’t wish it upon anyone. This awful 2 week wait was finally brought to an end a couple of days ago with some very good news: false alarm, no melanoma. I simply can’t express the joy and relief those words gave me…

However, it definitely brought back a lot of memories from the last time, and reminded me that I will live with this fear for the rest of my life, so I wanted to share my story once again, reminding you that this is can happen at any age, at any time, to anyone (not even Wolverine was immune). Just because you got checked a couple of years ago, doesn’t mean it’s not there now. It’s a constant thing you should be aware of. It can be aggressive, painful, and if spotted too late, fatal. Sun protection isn’t just for sunny holidays, and whilst your tan might be there for a week or so, the scars from melanoma are there for the rest of your life.

So ask yourself: is it worth it?

Which finally brings me to this amazing little gadget I stumbled upon, just launched at CES in Las Vegas this week: Netatmo’s JUNE is bracelet with a diamond shaped sensor which will send info on your UV exposure to your phone app, which will then warn you and give you protection advice. I think it’s a brilliant idea: perhaps it might shock some people into action. We all know what the sun can do and what we should be doing, but just like diets (eat less, eat healthier, do more exercise – we all know what to do), sometimes we need a little help and reminders from gadgets like these in order to make these changes.

JUNE by Netatmo will be launched later this year, will come in 3 colours and will cost $99. Sign me up now.

So don’t be an idiot and protect the skin you’re in. If you don’t want to listen to me, just listen to Miley. Or Hugh Jackman. When in doubt, always listen to Hugh Jackman.

Protect The Skin You're In Miley

The Marc Jacobs Protect The Skin You’re In t-shirts are $35 and all proceeds go to the NYU Skin Cancer Institute. Buy here.

p.s. Prevention IS the best cure, especially when it comes to skin cancer, so help me in supporting SKCIN, a UK charity that helps with raising awareness and prevention. There’s no need for miracle cures if you can simply avoid it altogether. 

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