As the brunette daughter of a fair-skinned red-head, I thought my darker coloring would work in my favor. I could get tan…eventually. I grew up swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, playing on the beaches of the eastern seaboard and racking up multiple sunburns. As a result of my pursuit of the perfect tan as a teen, I am now covered with hundreds of moles (nevi), some of which have been atypical. I am riddled with scars from all of my biopsies and excisions to remove these nevi. As a patient, I live in a constant state of heightened awareness of my risk of skin cancer, constantly checking my skin for any subtle changes.
The kicker is that I am a dual board certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist. I now have the expertise and vast experience to diagnose skin cancer, both clinically and histologically. Through my years in practice I have acquired the insight, acumen and intimate working knowledge of how dangerous tanning and excessive sun exposure can be….so basically I am my own worst skin nightmare.
But, as an avid runner, cyclist and active mom to two young kids, being outside is a large part of how I spend my time and life is too short to give up the activities that bring me joy. So…I have learned to adapt. I have adjusted when I run or cycle, what I wear when I go outside and have acquired some new vacation planning strategies so I can pursue my “shaded bliss.”
I created this site to share my journey, pursuits and finds so that if you had a childhood like mine, full of sun, sand and sunburns, this may be an opportunity for you to dabble in the shade if it’s new to you, or learn new strategies for you and your family to be “sun-safe”. If you had the sage wisdom all along to avoid the sun, I welcome you to share all the ways you have discovered to maximize your sun sensibility.
Life is a beautiful journey punctuated by twists and turns that can lead you to the discovery of your true bliss. I hope you find yours…and join me in the shade.