A woman has shared graphic pictures of her skin cancer symptoms on Facebook to warn others of the dangers of too much sun.
Lorraine Henderson, a 40-year-old mum of one, posted images of herself before and after surgery for skin cancer, writing that her ‘years of abusing sunbeds’ had left her with a permanent scar on her face.
‘Has took me a few weeks 2 come 2 terms with this b4 I posted…I had a spot on my face for over a yr then thinking the sun wld clear it up and didn’t, a gd friend advised me 2 get this checked out in which I did…one look and was told I had skin cancer…,’ Lorraine wrote in the post, which has now had more than 4,500 shares.
‘Not lking 4 any sympathy comments, wld jst like 2 put out there that after years of abusing sunbeds not putting the proper suncream on has resulted in a permanent scar on my face. BE AWARE. SUNBEDS, SUN, DOES LEAVE PERMANENT DAMAGE!!’
In an interview with STV News, Lorraine explained that she’d previously been a serious sun worshipper, having used sunbeds from the age of 13, and would eschew sun cream in favour of baby oil when topping up her tan. She would also use sunbeds up to four times a week.
‘I’d go on holiday and get the best tan I could, then come back and really hit the sun beds to keep my colour up,’ Lorraine told the channel. ‘I just was wanting to feel good about myself and when you’ve got a tan you do feel good about yourself.’
After being advised by a friend to get a spot that wouldn’t clear up checked out by a doctor, Lorraine was referred to a dermatologist, who took ‘one look’ before diagnosing her with skin cancer.
She added that she’d hoped that the procedure to remove the growth would leave her with a relatively small scar, but was ‘taken aback’ by the size of the mark that remained.
‘I was really upset when they showed me,’ she admitted. ‘It was like a 50p piece hole on my face. After two days I took the plaster off and I was horrified. I like to look after myself and seeing that big scar down my face really hit home.’
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When asked about why she posted the selfie, Lorraine said, ‘I just wanted to get my message out that this is what sunbeds and the sun can do without the right protection on.’
And her advice for anyone thinking of using a sunbed?
‘There’s loads of spray tans out there now, definitely go and spread your money on that rather than going on the sunbeds. At the end of the day your tan will only fade, but your scars will be with you for life.’