VIDEO: Dear 16-year-old Me

By , SparkPeople Blogger
With summer here, it is important to remember to protect your skin when enjoying outdoor activities. However, even tanning beds have given good reason to cause alarm and we should be mindful of the consequences of those as well, not just the harmful rays from the sun. Below is an interesting and informative video that has numerous people speaking out to their 16-year-old selves about melanoma skin cancer and how it has affected them.

We've also rounded up some additional information regarding skin cancer, safe measures to take while out in the sun, and the risks of tanning beds can be to our skin's health.

I Was Addicted to Tanning Beds, until I Got Skin Cancer

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Give Up the Fake Bake: Tanning Beds Cause Skin Cancer
Little-Known Sunscreen Facts
Sun Protection Tips for Healthy Skin
Melanoma Health Information

What would you tell your 16-year-old self? How do you keep your skin healthy and cancer free?

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Powerful. Educational. Moving.

I'm showing it to my kids tonight! Report
My 8-year-old fights me everyday with the sunscreen application. My husband told me to let him get one bad burn and he'll learn his lesson. I refused to do it, I got a bad burn when I was his age and was in complete misery for one week, and never forgot it. I will continue to apply that sunscreen on when he goes to summer camp and I am making him and my hubby watch this video. Great way to get the word out! Report
What a wonderful video. Made me almost cry. Report
This is something I worry about now that I am in my senior years. I have been severely sunburned over the years, from my teen years all the way through my adult years. It is something my mother has to deal with--with several operations but all caught in time. Report
Wow. I'm sending this to my teenaged daughters. Report
I thought as long as I used sunscreen it was ok to tan on the beach. WRONG! SPF 15 or 30 is not enough according to my dermatologist. He says the goal is to keep the skin as fair as possible. At age 41 I was diagnosed with melanoma this year. A friend sent me this video a few months ago to share with the teens in my life. Report
Wow, incredible video. Choked me up. I posted it on my Facebook page so my friends/family who won't take my advice about staying out of the sun, may take the advice of the participants in this video. Report
I'm tearing up and I never tear up. So powerful, so important. Report
Very powerful! Makes me glad I felt like a beached whale on the beach and avoided it as much as possible. I see a dermatologist for a body check yearly. A good habit to adopt. Report
Very good video.
I spent years as a teenager and through my 40's worshiping the sun. i never tanned my face, didn't want to get wrinkles. But the other part of my body was golden year round.
Now I am in my late 60's, no skin cancer , but I go to the dermatologist every 3 months or so for a check. Every blemish gets checked.
i know it was foolish, I even knew then but thought it won't happen to me.
Now we have spray on tans. And there is some question of how healthy that is.
But my daughter uses the spray regular. i have used spray a couple of times for special occasions.
But I have got used to natural toned skin. Report
Is this on TV? It should be! Great and so important post! Report
I want my 3 young nieces to see this. Very important. Report
Good information for young people who like to tan a lot. I think they should always use sun screen. Report
I posted this in my blog months ago. Didn't get as many views as it being posted here. That makes me happy! Report
i agree. always use sunscreen. my sister is a skin cancer survivor and stresses to me the importance of always using sunscreen and to check the moles i do have on a regular basis. Report
I cried, this should be played in schools. Report
This is an excellent video! In case anyone thinks that tanned skin makes one look healthy and glowing--yes, it does, but it is total deception. Tanned skin is sun-damaged skin. Never omit using a sunscreen every day, even if it's cloudy outside--that's when the UVA and UVB rays are the most intense. Be sure to apply your sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure to allow the sunscreen to be absorbed by your skin. Report
What would I tell my 16 year old self ? I'd tell myself to start wearing a hat more often. Cuz if you don't, you're going to end up with freckles and brown spots when you get older. ugh... Of course, I need to listen to my current self more often too i.e. I don't wear a hat as often as I should when I'm outside. my bad. Report
An excellent video! i have not seen any as good-straight facts yet it touches my heart because of the victims and thier courage in reaching out. I have sent it to al my friends-especially those who are sun worshippers. Report
Powerful stuff and scary. I used to burn and have gotten blisters. Yes I was young and stupid. Report
Wow, what a powerful PSA. I hope it can save many lives. Report
I like this video. I'm a melanoma survivor myself. I always tell young people that getting tan is not worth it. Use sunscreen and avoid sunburn. And I've taught my daughter to use sunscreen. When I was her age, I was out baking in the sun and using baby oil to try to get some color on my fair skin. I had been taught that you had to have a tan to look attractive. I hope she never feels that pressure.

People with more natural pigment in their skin can also get skin cancer--sometimes people with darker skin think that it can't happen to them. A former neighbor of Hispanic heritage discovered years ago that he had melanoma. Because he didn't think he could get skin cancer, he didn't recognize for a long time that his "funny" mole was a problem.

By the way, every May (melanoma awareness month) a number of dermatologists provide free screening for skin cancer. Report
I did a lot of time in the Sun at 16, so I just deal with it now by having myself checked often. I went to Key West, Florida on vacation when I was 21 & was out by the pool for 20 minutes in April & I got "cooked." So, I've been there. Report
This really scared me. I am a fair-skinned freckled gal who loves to get than tanned glow in the summer. Report
Goes directly to your heart! Report
Great information! And thanks for the related articles.
I'd tell her not to be concerned that she hates the sun and, despite both parents' urging and pronouncements that she is a "paleface," she should listen to her own guidance. Report
I will be sending this to my teenage niece. It brought tears to my eyes. Report
This is a very well-done, informative, and moving PSA. Thank you for sharing this. Report
I'd tell my 16 year old self that alabaster skin looks younger longer. Don't be ashamed of it, it's beautiful. Report
I'm almost 26 and have spent every summer of my life at the lake, frequently getting mild sunburns and rarely, bad ones. I developed a white spot on a chest mole recently and immediately made an appointment with a dermatologist. The day before my appt, the white spot started to disappear and come time for my appt, the derm acted like I was a complete hypochondriac and barely looked at me! I'm sure it was nothing but he didn't even ask questions about sun exposure, sunscreen use, tanning bed use or burn history!! I was so angry when I left. This video just goes to prove my point that you don't have to be very old to get skin cancer! If you have concerns, make sure you find a GOOD doc!! Report
That is an amazing video, I had tears in my eyes! Report
THANK YOU for blogging about this important topic! Report
USE Sunscreen always. Report
Wow! This is powerful. Report
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