If you’re a fan of getting bronzing your skin by way of UV rays, what you’re about to read may change your mind about doing it in future. Tanya Willoughby is 27 years old and suffers from skin cancer. The nurse from Alabama was first diagnosed at the age of 21. Willoughby visits the dermatologist every 6 to 12 months and nearly every time she has skin cancer removed.
In April, Willoughby shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer to Facebook, as a warning to those who like tanning as much as she used to. The post has gained a lot of traction and has been shared nearly 60,000 times:
Willoughby’s skin cancer comes as a result of overzealous tanning as a teenager. She used to visit tanning salons four times a week in an attempt to keep her tan from fading. By sharing this graphic image Willoughby is hoping to raise awareness and teach people with bad tanning habits to be a little more mindful. In her Facebook post she writes:
“If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like. Wear sunscreen and get a spray tan. You only get one skin and you should take care of it. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t let tanning prevent you from seeing your children grow up. That’s my biggest fear now that I have a two year old little boy of my own.”
Hopefully Willoughby’s honesty encourages others who might be a little bit too fond of tanning beds and sunbathing in general to stick to tan from a bottle in future, or at least to start embracing the joys of a higher-spf sunscreen.