Kiwi Skin Stories
“When I was young I loved lying in the sun. I’d lay there for ages getting a tan, either with others or on my own, even though I had skin that burnt easily and wouldn’t really tan that well. I watched my freckles join up, which was my version of a tan and with that I felt healthy.
I changed my habits when I learnt that sun exposure accumulated throughout one’s life and that it resulted in skin damage that couldn’t be reversed. I found out that the areas when I was badly burnt as a child would be the parts where future skin damage appeared. And they have been.
Being outdoors is hugely important for me as I love being in nature, in the garden, at the beach, in the bush and playing with the grandkids. It’s where I come alive. I try to get enough sun so that I absorb Vitamin D and then cover up with clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunblock. And when the sun is really burning, I keep out of it.
I actually think that regular check-ups should be part of our health system. What holds me back is being able to afford what is currently a private health option. It is really helpful to have someone skilled looking regularly at my skin and noticing any changes. My Mum, who had the skin more able to handle the sun, had a melanoma on her arm removed. This surprised us all as we didn’t expect it. It woke the family up to the fact that any of us are susceptible, even the darker skinned, and that it can just quietly appear. Keep watch of your skin.”