The Cobbler Worries about Her Families Shoes - Melissa Clements, MD - Oklahoma City
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The Cobbler Worries about Her Families Shoes

The Cobbler Worries about Her Families Shoes

It has been 3 weeks since I began treating an upper lip full of advanced sun damage and pre-cancers, and I am looking forward to giving the topical chemotherapeutic cream a rest….hopefully, for a good long while.

I am looking forward to the series of PicoSure treatments with the Focus Lens Array and am trying to act in accordance with what I preach daily regarding sun protection and precautions.

Like much of the south-central portion of the country, Oklahoma City had a markedly mild winter and has “enjoyed” March temperatures in the 70-80’s. While I rather resent needing to clean
the garden in February, it is charming to watch the world awaken and clothe itself in spring. Did I really plant all those bulbs last autumn?

Do I really dig in the soil and plant in the dark? I do. In addition to avoiding noxious ultraviolet rays, working at dawn and twilight have the added advantage of seeing blooms that grace only nights and “fringe” hours (e.g., moonflowers, angel trumpets, and morning glories) and witnessing a
wealth of avian life and song.

My husband’s outdoor pursuits include golf and micromanaging our lawn’s nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and iron levels.  His prefers midday sun exposure.  Harp as I may he finds no refuge in long sleeved shirts, routinely wears shorts, and has the silliest wee brim imaginable on his
infrequently worn hat. While routinely donning a respectably high SPF sunscreen, he seems impervious to my cautionary, yet loving, tone of reprimand.

Imagine that!

Our daughter has the sun protection message well in hand, but only after learning the hard way. Though she could select fewer sundresses and shorts. Her brothers are less receptive to my
warnings. One, in a collegiate genetics class, was impressed with data that demonstrates mutations in DNA in oral mucosa and lung tissue with smoking; he thinks that presentation of such information in a PSA would result in a zero smoking population.

When reminded that I have provided comparable studies regarding sun exposure, sunburn, and the development of all forms of skin cancer I was informed that I had not made a persuasive argument and that people just naturally like the sun.

I keep harping about sun avoidance and protection because it is fundamentally important.  Oklahoma sun is dangerous and injurious. I repeatedly tell patients that their job is to cheat me out of needing to use treatments and devices such as liquid nitrogen, photodynamic therapy (Blu-U), lasers for the correction of sun induced blood vessels, or Fraxel and PicoSure lasers for the correction of UV induced aging of the skin, pigmented lesions, and wrinkles.  For your health’s sake hide from the sun’s direct rays!