A Cowboy’s Faith: Suntan lotion is important – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Suntan lotion is important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The sun is both a healing agent and yet can be very harmful to the skin.”

Speaking from experience, protecting the skin from the sun’s rays is essential.

For decades, jeans, t-shirt and cap were common summer attire riding horseback in the hot sun.

No consideration was given to protection from the dangerous rays that the sun generously distributes, but it did catch up.

Visits to the dermatologist (skin doctor) verified pre-cancerous spots on the face several times. There wasn’t too much concern as the doctor treated each spot with a killing freezing medication.

Return visits to the doctor every three months showed that the previous treatments were effective. However, each time new pre-cancerous spots appeared and received freezing agent squirts.

Then worst news on the next visit. “Skin cancer is so severe on your left ear that surgery is essential to remove the ear lobe.”

Fortunately, the doctor could remove the cancer and did reconstructive surgery so there has not been an ear cancer problem.

However, in another appointment, cancer was found in the lower left lip requiring surgery removal.

That was more serious, necessitating a different doctor’s appointment for reconstruction surgery and lengthy healing time. Scars do remain but are not generally noticeable when conversing with others as most are inside the mouth.

A few months later, the skin doctor found serious cancer in the lower right lip requiring surgery removal. It was another ordeal like the first time and fortunately ended up with the same positive outcome.

Scheduled appointments to the skin doctor are followed stringently and pre-cancerous spots are always found and treated. There have not been additional skin cancers requiring removal by surgery.

Now, sunscreen, the modern term for what was known as suntan lotion, is applied whenever going out in the sun. Despite what might seem hot to many others, jeans, long sleeved shirts, hats, gloves, and sunglasses are always worn.

“The damage has already been done,” the doctor insisted when telling him that precautionary efforts to prevent more cancer are being taken.

Regular skin cancer checkups are essential, and everybody is advised to take defensive measures to help prevent skin cancer.

With its hazards, the sun is still God’s most natural healing agent.

Reminded of Matthew 5:45: “God made the sun the good and bad, the nice and nasty.”

Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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