MelanomaMe - saving lives...
Simone Whitehead Bridal Hair roped me into a course recently. She had been made aware of it by a Beauty Therapist who had recently gone on the course. It's aimed at those who are in the service industry, who can spot skin irregularities as they are usually working so close to the skin. But, a few years ago, i went on an Advanced Electrolysis course (Advanced Cosmetic Procedures) and we studied a little on skin cancers. So, I felt that, perhaps, this course was going to be more of a recap - rather than learning anything particularly new.
I was wrong.
There was so much more to learn. From identifying sinister moles to real life case studies (some a little hard hitting).
As I am in my 40's - most of our generation went a bit sunbed crazy in the 80's - I remember being laughed at because my legs were soooo white - I soon fixed that thanks to Jean Lamb sunbeds!!!! I had brown legs for a quite a good few years until I stopped using sunbeds altogether aged 28, when I became pregnant with my first child and have rarely tanned since. But, because of that, we have probably increased the risk of melanomas, so regularly checking of moles is recommended.
The course itself was taken by the founder - Kerry, who had been through a worrying experience of Melanoma herself and felt there needed to be more support and education to everyone.
Among us students, were Podiatrists, Massage therapists, Beauty Therapists and 2 ladies who had brought out a fantastic Fake tan with an inbuilt SPF 50 (I must purchase this)
and of course myself and Simone Whitehead, who does pretty good wedding hair and everyday hairdressing by the way!!!
We worked in teams, and dispelled myths with a true and false session. I found this particularly interesting.
The very worst part of the session had to be the Sunderland Echo photographer dropping by. I was not prepared or dressed for the part. I took on the stereotypical student look, while everyone else looked the part of their profession. Not me. Simone Lovely Hair looked so glamorous whereas I looked like I was about to do some work on a farm!!! (Makeup Artist/ Beauty Therapist - I don't think so).
We also had to decide from images, if we thought the lesions were benign or melanoma. What was interesting, was some that looked perfectly fine, were in actual fact a Melanoma, and some that look slightly sinister - were benign. So the moral of the story is - if in doubt - get it checked.
What was also worrying, was the fact that some doctors would deem them fine and healthy, only to turn out that they were in fact a melanoma from a second opinion.
If a lesion appears suddenly and increases in size - get it checked. However, some melanoma's could be sitting on your back and you could be completely unaware of its existence. Get a loved one to have a look over. With all this info available to massage therapists or hairdressers, they could be the very people who could spot something you haven't. And the earlier you have them checked out - the faster you can have it treated. They can appear on finger nails, the scalp, the feet, the neck and back.
I purchased a couple of UV activated wristbands, ideal for kids to know when to slap on the sunscreen.
I would recommend anyone in the service industry to go on this course as well as teacher's and lecturers. The ladies are wonderful and knowledgeable and the session is light-hearted and fun, but ultimately the focus is on saving lives.
So thank you to Simone who asked me to join her.
Here are a few pics.