(Sun) smart, funny and kind.
I have very fair skin and auburn hair. I recall experiencing a couple of bad sunburns as a younger child and becoming more aware of sun protection from my late teens onwards. I think this was probably due to having a number of family members being diagnosed with melanoma.
I had my first skin biopsy (on my face) just last year - luckily it was good news. I also have quite sensitive skin and have had a lot of difficulty with sensitivity to sunscreens. I have tried many different formulations and brands to try to find something that my skin can manage.
That said, I am a big fan of sun-shirts, hats, umbrellas and decent sunglasses. All of these things have made me even more conscientious about protecting my skin and also of wanting to share this message with others.
I would tell my 16 year old self not so worry much about looking too pale in comparison with my friends who had what were typically considered to be "great Aussie tans." That my pale skin doesn't make me "unhealthy" rather it is just my natural complexion.
I would tell myself not to get upset at people who make jokes about the weather when I was using an umbrella in the sun… (if I had a dollar for every time someone made a smart remark about the weather when I was using an umbrella for the sun, I would be a very wealthy person by now!!) I would tell my teenage self that using a sun umbrella might even become fashionable someday.
I would say to myself that, in the future (and in my lifetime), we will start to question the stereotype of the beautiful Bronzed Aussie and begin to challenge it. That we will recognise the damage that the sun can have on our skin and we will start to focus on sun-safe practices in day-to-day life.
I would tell myself to continue to look after my skin every day by wearing sunscreen even on cloudy days.
Thank you Phoebe for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.
The Solbari Team
In 2016, Jarryd Roughead received life changing news, that what was once an innocuous spot on his lip was actually melanoma— and that it was spreading fast. We're so fortunate that Jarryd took the time to answer our questions about his experience as it pertains to sun protection, skin health and prevention and detection.
Coming directly from the sun, UV radiation permeates 90% of cloud coverage, and can reflect off the surfaces of concrete, sand, and even snow. That means even the cloudiest and coldest of days cannot shield us from UV exposure.