A self-confessed tan addict has shared graphic images of the painful treatment she now has to go undergo to remove potentially cancerous skin cells after years of using sun beds.
45-year-old Margaret Murphy from Dublin, Ireland, is on a 28-day course to remove pre-cancerous cells from her face. She shared the images to raise awareness of the dangers of over-exposure to the sun.
Margaret lived in Greece for 10 years and used tan beds too. She’s undergoing a painful Efudix treatment after being diagnosed with actinic keratosis in December of last year.
To highlight the dangers of the sun and using sunbeds, she’s documenting the entire process on Facebook and admits she “paid the price” for never using sun protection.
“I’ve spent over a decade living in Crete tanning myself to ‘look good’ thinking, ‘Hey, I’m brown, I don’t need high sun factor,'” she explains.
“I’ve spent summers doing sunbeds just for a tan in the s****y Irish weather and a childhood running the streets all day with not a though for sun factor.”
“Unfortunately all this lovely tanning has a price to pay, because now I have pre-cancerous cells on my face and have started treatment to remove them.”
“I’ve to use a cream that’s going to burn [the cancer cells] out, apparently it’s quite painful and gruesome as the weeks go on but on the good side it should get rid of the cells and the treatment is only for a month.”
The mom-of-one is hoping that her daily posts will help others learn from her mistakes.
“I heard all the warnings years ago and closed my eyes and ears to it all. Maybe someone will open their eyes to this if it’s closer to home.”
“I’m sharing this to try and raise awareness of sun damage and high factor sun lotion.”
The former sun-worshipper said she noticed marks on her forehead almost 9 years ago, but was told it was psoriasis by a doctor and advised to expose her face to more sun to help it heal.
“You could cover [the marks] with my hair so they didn’t bother me. They were constant little crusty spots that would never go away no matter what I put on them.”
Margaret has shared the cancer-killing process as her skin has reddened and burned, saying it felt like “someone put a cigarette out on me”.
“Skin is so tight I’m finding it hard to open my mouth,” she wrote on day 17, “Can’t smile, can’t yawn, on the bright side only 11 days left.”
You can keep up with Margaret’s journey on Facebook.