Here are more good reasons to be careless about using SPF.
Likens a Canadian mother to an “acid attack victim” after taking chemotherapy cream for her skin cancer – which she developed after neglecting to use sunscreen for years.
“It looks like I had an acid attack,” Honor Stark told SWNS of the topical treatment she was forced to wear six hours a day. The 53-year-old Toronto resident added, “[Using chemotherapy cream] It’s like pouring acid on your skin and bubbles coming out of your skin. That’s exactly what it feels like and that’s exactly what it looks like.”
Stark uses this cream to treat basal cell carcinoma, one of the most common forms of skin cancer with 3.6 million people diagnosed annually in the United States alone. Although the condition is generally not fatal, it often recurs even after successful treatment, and can increase the risk of other types of skin cancer.
The complexion of four children began in 2008, when she noticed a colorless “dime-sized” crater with scaly texture on her forehead.
Initially, Stark dismissed the blemishes as eczema because she was prone to the condition and “has very dry skin,” SWNS reported.
However, the woman reportedly became anxious after several months “who broke her forehead with that lesion”. So I decided to look for an expert.
“It was eating my skin and my tissues and getting so close to the bones on my forehead that it scared me when I saw my doctor,” Stark recalls.
That’s when she received the devastating diagnosis.
The patient said, “I went into her office, I was so nervous and didn’t know anything about skin cancer, and when she immediately looked at my forehead and said, ‘You have cancer. We need to schedule an operation to remove that. “
“It was so scary because I didn’t know what kind of cancer I had,” Stark said, adding that she was so upset by the “doctor’s lack of empathy” that she “began to cry.”
Hoping to get someone with more insight—and perhaps a better bedside way—Stark changed doctors in 2009. The following year, she underwent a procedure to remove the lesion.
Unfortunately, that didn’t alleviate the problem: the cancer has since spread all over the surface of Stark’s body, including her neck, arm, and chest.
“I’ve had so many lesions over the years, I couldn’t count the amount,” she said. “I have the complexion of a 70- or 80-year-old woman.”
Since 2010, Stark has undergone an astonishing 30 skin surgeries—like a whack-a-mole.
The unfortunate girl attributes her ordeal to the fact that “I never protected my skin.”
“I put sunscreen on my kids, but I never wear sunscreen,” she explained. “I had sunscreen in my house, but it wasn’t something I would think about every morning before I went out.”
“I didn’t wear a hat and I didn’t stand under an umbrella, which is why I got so much cancer,” Stark added.
In order to protect her sensitive skin, the mother must now apply sunscreen no matter the weather, and she can never expose herself to direct sunlight again.
Stark also described the aforementioned chemotherapy cream in 2012, which she likened to a “toxin to cancer cells.”
“You can apply it and it just picks up the precancerous or precancerous cells and there will be ugly, ugly red skin,” she explained.
Unfortunately, one side effect was that it made her skin “very hot and incredibly itchy” as if there were “burning red ants running on your skin,” she said.
And the pain wasn’t just physical: “It makes my skin look like I’ve had a really bad accident,” Stark explained. “He made people turn away from me. He was hurting my feelings and I was feeling like an outcast.”
She added, “People were pointing at me and not understanding if I had an infectious disease, someone had hurt me so badly or I had a car accident.”
Stark now hopes to use her ordeal as a cautionary tale highlighting the dangers of avoiding sunscreen.
“I want people to understand that little behaviors they can incorporate into their routine can prevent this from happening,” said Stark, who frequently posts public service announcements of sunscreen on TikTok. “So you wear a hat. I see the kids outside in the bright sun without a hat and I think to myself ‘that scares me’ because of what their future might look like.”
“I really enjoy spreading awareness because this type of cancer you can protect yourself and your children at any time and at any age from getting it,” she added.