The TallGrass Blog

A Pretty Picture: Not!
02/25/2011 Gail Ridings
Blush Gail Headshot

Gail Blog Photo 1Not such a pretty picture, eh? I certainly had to take a deep breath and put all vanity aside to have this picture taken and then put it out there for all of you to see! But, hopefully, seeing me like this will encourage you to take care of your skin.

About 20 years ago, during a routine facial (this was pre-TallGrass), the esthetician noticed a spot on my shoulder and suggested I have a doctor take a look. Sure enough, it was basal cell skin cancer. Luckily, this is not a cancer that metastasizes (spreads to the rest of your body), but it does create growing sores that must be removed. The most likely cause of this type of skin cancer (I’m no doctor – so ask your own) is sun exposure. I wonder if you were a sun worshiper like me when you were younger or if you are now. It goes like this: "A little color on my face looks healthy and glowing and makes me gorgeous.” Oh yeah, remember? We used baby oil to get as dark as possible.

Anyway, fast forward to 2010 and this is my third Mohs surgery (microscopically controlled surgery) on my forehead – each time in a different spot. It’s not a painful procedure, but it can be long, drawn out and certainly creates stitches, a swollen face, and – for me – a lovely black eye. I will have these stitches out by the time you read this newsletter and, eventually, I can hide the scar under my bangs, thank goodness, along with the other two scars.

Because of my fair skin and careless sun exposure, I will be going to the dermatologist every three months for the rest of my life, each time having different spots shaved and carved. Of course, NOW I’m super-careful and don’t go anywhere without sunscreen and/or a hat, but most of the damage has already been done.

So, words of warning: If you are still thinking that as long as you don’t burn you’ll be fine, think again. PLEASE use sunscreen and, since September is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, please come to TallGrass for a facial or body treatment to take good care of the biggest organ of your body, your skin. And, if you have the slightest concern about a spot or mole, please promise yourself to make an appointment with a dermatologist and check it out.

That way, you won’t end up looking like this!