Don’t Forget Your Ears!

Slacker PSA here.

As runners we spend a lot of time in the sun.   Morning, noon and evening, overcast or not, we’re in the sun.   Even if you only run in the gym on the treadmill you still have to walk to and from the car, right?   Do you commute?  Do you drive?  Ever considered how much sun the left side of you gets?

I had my first biopsy my sophomore year of high school.   I brushed against a wall during a dance show rehearsal and a mole on my back started bleeding.   Probably not a good thing.   My mom took me to the dermatologist.  They actually performed 5 biopsies to check for melanoma that day.     Thankfully, all of them came back in the clear but considered me scared.

The thing about fear is that life gets busy and things fade over time.  I’ve worn sunblock on my face and neck every day since then.  Every day.   I do my best to put it on everywhere else before every run.  Weekends, I’m a pro.  Week nights can be hit or miss.   I know better.

This classic runners tan is with sunblock. And yes, I am a very mole-y person.

I’ve lost count of how many biopsies I’ve actually had, I know it hit double digits years ago.   From the top of my head to the top of my feet.   My most recent battle exrwounds are on my upper right side, my brow bone and my butt.   Yeah, that last one still hurts.  😝

If you’ve been with the blog, or my IG, for a while you may have noticed most of my running selfies this year include a hat.  That’s not normal.   I have a small head so running type hats and I have never gotten along.  Nothing fit right and I always felt too hot in them.  I tried visors but never felt like they did much.  The whole top of my head was exposed.   While I do love my new favorite hat, there is also a practical reason to rocking it.    The trucker covers more of my head but lets the air flow too.  As for it being too big?  That’s now a good thing- it covers the tips of my ears.

Doctor’s verdict- my ears have serious sun damage.   How did I forget my ears?!   Face and neck every day but I forgot my ears!   Grrrr.   Lots of pictures were taken of my ears to track the changes over time.    On the positive side- I was just notified that these last biopsies were also clear.

So, even though I am by no means an expert, here are a few Slacker tips-

  • Sunblock!!! All day, every day.  And not just SPF 15.
  • Hats!   Even if you think the hat looks weird- wear it anyway!
  • Drive a lot?  Don’t forget your left side!
  • Think you put on enough sunblock?  Put on more.
  • Tans are not that cool. Really.
  • Check those moles- keep an eye on how they change.
  • Don’t forget under your hair.   A really good hair dresser can actually help you with this one.
  • Don’t forget your ears!!


What did I forget?


22 thoughts on “Don’t Forget Your Ears!

  1. I completely agree with the importance of putting on that sunblock. I am however horrible at it. I admit it and I am trying to do a better job. I too have a small head and my ears are always covered if I wear a hat. I found that Oiselle trucker hats still fit my head and don’t look huge in the front and on top but still cover up my ears. I am in love with mine!


  2. See, I try. And I care. But I’m allergic to most chemical sunscreens–they actually give me a pseudo-chemical burn. So I have to use the natural stuff with Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, and that shit DOES.NOT.RUB.IN. So I look like a ghost. A very streaky ghost, if I’m running or sweating. So I don’t wear sunblock half as often as I should. I know it’s stupid, but it’s just harder for me than “regular” people, and I resent it.


    1. Ouch! That sounds painful! Yeah, the doctor told me my ears were so damaged that I need to use the zinc oxide sunblock. I haven’t been able to bring myself to buy it yet. I keep telling myself that my hat covers my ears right? They really need to make a better zinc- seriously- that stuff should run in now!


      1. I know, it’s such a pain. I like Babo Botanicals–that’s one of the best I’ve found, and it’s not super expensive like some of them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great reminder, Slacker. As someone who is extremely fair skinned and has gotten severely sunburned more times that I care to admit… I don’t always remember sunscreen but I know I need to. Thanks for this reminder!


  4. Ouchouchouch that photo of your back! Is that a burn or a tan with a photo filter? It looks painful! I used to always forget my ears and the part on the top of my head until I played soccer and got one too many burns. Then there was always a bottle of sunscreen in my gear bag.

    One thing to add that fits in with your #4 – don’t forget to reapply after sweating/swimming/etc! I’ll douse myself in sunblock, then run a race and sweat it off, and forget to reapply and then end up burned after hanging out at post-race festivities.


    1. A little of both actually. That was taken after a morning of hiking and my sunblock had burned off quicker than I planned.
      Good point! It needs to be reapplied after lots of water or sweat or you end up looking like that picture I posted!


  5. Love this PSA!! Living in FL requires a lot of sunscreen/block. My son got his first job as a lifeguard this year and is already tired of me telling him not to forget his ears and the back of his neck and to REAPPLY to the nose constantly!! You can never have too much sunscreen!! Enjoy your weekend!!


  6. First, Ouch!!!! As a former Arizona girl..YES! I am super fair, so I learned at a very early age to wear sunscreen everyday. I’m so glad people have wised up in recent years and the tanorexic ideal of the past seems to have faded some. Great PSA!


    1. Every time I think most people have wised up, I see someone who is so dark!!!! My mother is actually super dark tan. She uses sunblock but as a tennis coach, she is in the sun all day! I yell at her often to use more sunscreen.


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