I have always loved getting a tan. I come from a long line of sun worshippers. My grandmother and grandfather on my mom's side would take their RV out to the dessert and lay out while my aunt and her friends would ride motorcycles. While growing up in California we would spend almost a month in the summer on the beach in either Mission Bay or Balboa. My mom's side of the family were always really tan from playing golf or laying out and I thought they looked great.

But then there is something called genetics and heredity (are they synonymous?) and I am also an offspring of my father. His side of the family is lily white with dry skin. Skin cancer runs rampant through my aunt, uncles, cousins, and my dad. My grandpa lost part of his ear and nose and my dad had an operation that made him look like a face lift gone bad for a couple of months. No one has ever died from skin cancer on his side, probably because emphysema played a bigger role and kicked skin cancer's butt at the finish line.

My love of the tanning bed and entire afternoons of laying out from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. are catching up with me. Actually they caught up with me a few years ago. I had one dermatologist tell me that the sun on my skin is like gasoline on a dry field of cornstalks. He must have been from Illinois. Even after that analogy I still continued to purchase a tanning membership every February so I would be ahead of the game when the pool actually opened. I did make some concessions. I stopped adding iodine to baby oil and bought a regular, though no SPF, tanning oil to use instead.

Fast forward to today. I have an appointment at the Dermatologist at 10:30 a.m. I did not go tanning this winter nor did I go last winter. My husband tells me that he cares too much about me to allow me to lie in a tanning bed. I still lay out in the summer but I tend to cover up and I now use sunscreen on my face. But the damage is done. I have a couple of spots that will need to be scraped off, lovely huh? and I am sure I will have to have some excising done, even lovelier-and grosser.

When I saw my dad at Easter he is using this cream on his face that burns off the benign skin cancer spots. He face looks like it is on fire in spots, or was on fire and is now healing. I cannot, no way, no how, do that. Today I am just hoping that my mother's genes will outweigh my father's genes. I am so much happier in the sun and I need to believe I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, or whatever, to justify my desire for a tan. Not just because a nice healthy tan makes you look thinner, duh!

The gene pool bracket is down to the final two: sun-kissed oily skin vs. lily-white, dry skin. Wish me luck. I will also be asking for a Rx or Rentin A, Hydroquinone, and Spironolactone because if my days in the sun are over I at least want smooth glowing skin. Is that too much to ask?

Edited to add:

The spots on my face I was concerned about are minor. The Dermatalogist does not want to do a removal process because it could leave scarring. Instead I am to use Retin-A and hopefully it will slough away the cells without scarring.

She did prescribe me Spironolactone but I need to have a blood test first to make sure my kidneys are operating correctly. She said that she has seen very positive results from this drug and thinks that I should be happy. All is good! Too bad they don't give samples of Botox shots I could use one between my eyes...........
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