My generation grew up with a reckless disregard of ultraviolet radiation. Far from avoiding sunshine, we basked in it. TV commercials promoted sun tan oils guaranteed to give a deeper, darker tan. Sun worshippers basted their bodies in baby oil and baked until well-done.
In an era before sunblock and UPF ratings, we considered sunburns a normal part of outdoor life. Every summer I burned at the ballpark, pool, and beach until my skin slowly peeled and then browned under the southern sun.
Now I’m paying for the sins of my youth.
I recently asked my dermatologist to check a small blemish on my face. She quickly identified half a dozen areas that needed attention. Pulling out an appliance that looked suspiciously like a paint sprayer, she spurted frozen nitrogen liberally over my cheekbones and one unwary eyebrow.
I left the office looking like an accident victim. The freeze-dried skin reddened and swelled (swoll . . . swolled up . . . swelleder?). After the doctor’s appointment, I made a hospital visit and several nurses tried to admit me!
Over time my skin healed and the blemishes disappeared. However, the dermatologist says people my age need an annual exam.
People my age . . . .
I’ve never been people my age before. People my age have always been OLDER. And now so am I.
So if I have any advice to offer the younger generation, then it is this:
But wear sunscreen.
And a hat.
Someday, you will be people my age, too!