Having grown up in a very active family, from a very early age I was participating in team sports whether it be football, tee-ball or cricket. My parents taught me the importance of using sun cream and zinc to protect my face, but also the benefit of wearing a long sleeve shirt to cover my arms, and a bucket hat or broad brim hat to keep the sun off my neck and ears.
I am a happy teenager focused on what I can do and enjoy in my life, rather than stress about the medical conditions I have or the foods and things I cannot have. Thank you Solbari for this opportunity to be an advocate for the skin condition atopic dermatitis and for other sufferers of this skin condition in the community.
These days I am obsessed with sun protection. My regime in recent years has been so effective that people often remark on how good my skin looks, which is quite the compliment for someone who is 50-something and raised in Australian conditions.
It's never too early to start taking care of your skin - your older self will be very grateful if you start right away! Don't buy into believing that you need to be nicely tanned at all times. You will be much better off avoiding sun, skin damage and premature wrinkles. Not to mention the risk of getting skin cancer.
For me, despite being vigilant growing up in the 'slip slop slap' era with caring parents and being a responsible young adult, my cancer progressed - partly because of my high-risk skin. I really want everyone to take sun safety seriously because it is preventable if you are cautious and get regular skin checks.
I am especially diligent about sun protection these days - I make sure anything that goes on my face, such as moisturiser and makeup, has SPF. When I do venture into the sun, I prefer to use barriers such as clothing (and Solbari has such great options!)
The damage that is caused today by the sun can never be undone, and a potential deep burn in the pursuit of the perfect tan is not worth risking future skin cancer. I recently had a skin cancer scare which reminded of this. On a very overdue skin check, the doctor discovered something which had all the hallmark signs of a melanoma.
I like to play lawn bowls, golf and other outdoor activities. I spent quite a bit of time in North Queensland and on the surf beaches in my younger days, with no understanding of the damage sun exposure will cause. I have lived in Queensland for most of my life and had never given sufficient care to the protection of my skin from sun exposure.