Kimberlee’s personal story
As a kid, I remember getting sunburned every single summer. We used products that would attract a tan—never anything with SPF. One summer, I was burned so badly that I had huge blisters on both of my shoulders.
When I was a teenager, my friends and I regularly "laid out" in the sun as a social event. By the time we went back to school in the fall, we would all be super tan.
Later, in my 20s, I thought I looked better with a tan, so I kept tanning all winter long in tanning beds.
As I got older, I learned more about skin damage and sunscreen. I stopped going to tanning beds and started using sunscreen. I knew I was at risk, though, so I found a regular dermatologist and started getting skin checks. In January 2015, I had a weird, itchy, almost pimple-like lesion on my left shoulder. It grew quickly and itched like crazy. I actually said to my doctor, this is my skin cancer. Sure enough, it was. I almost expected it.
Luckily, she was able to surgically remove it with clean margins. Now, I am even more vigilant. I wish I knew then what I know now. I have multiple spots removed every year and wear sunscreen all year long.