What is your name?
Hi, my name is Emily Yates.
Describe yourself in 3-5 words.
Energetic, knowledgeable, family minded.
What is your attitude towards sun protection today?
I have very fair skin and am quite sensitive to sunlight. Twenty years ago when I was 16 I was diagnosed with a high white blood cell count and photosensitivity to sunlight and face the possibility of having lupus. Whilst the medical profession are still undecided about this I have over time decided to be proactive about my skin health.
I do find that I burn very easily even on overcast days - I often find that even a short 10 minute walk around the city will leave me sunburnt. And whilst I have and still do use sunscreen regularly I have found that covering up with clothing is the best way to be sure I will not get burnt.
For me being "sun smart" is something that has to be daily and constant. Many of my friends and family will protect use sun protection when they are on summer holiday or at the beach but for me it has to be something that is part of my daily routine.
I need to make sure I put sunscreen on before I leave the house and wear appropriate clothing to cover my neck. I have found that clothing with long sleeves and a collar the best way to achieve full cover. I also need to always carry a hat. I think that sun protection is a way of life not just something you do on summer holidays. A childhood in New Zealand has left me vulnerable to the long term effects of the sun - but prevention is the best way forward.
What would you tell your 16 year old self about sun protection?
To not try and be like everyone else when it comes to having a tan. To always take care no matter what the weather is. Whatever you do don't have the attitude "its only this once it won't matter"!
Thank you Emily for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.
The Solbari Team