When I was a child sun screen was not a priority because as my dad proudly used to say "you have my Italian olive oil in your blood." I was raised camping, water skiing and snow skiing. Creating a nice brown glow that made my mother bristle as she applied her Solarcaine. As a teenager I was not prone to acne and had nice skin dotted with a few freckles. I would always be laying out with my pals soaking up the sun. Even during both pregnancies I had no stretch marks on my skin and after seeing my mom’s stretch marks, I felt very lucky I had good skin.
My skin was able to do its job until I was diagnosed at 29 with ALS. As skin ages, it becomes thinner, has less elasticity and decreased blood flow. The skin is one of the most important parts of the body. Its purpose it to protect us from pathogens, gives us insulation and regulates our temperature, to name a few. My muscles are all slowly shrinking which puts the nerves much closer to the skin, making it tougher for the skin to do its job. ALS also is much more sensitive to temperature, cold makes my spine ridged and heat zaps all of my energy. The skin is unable to help control this.
At 35 my skin started to make more drastic changes from aging. Now at 45 my arms jiggle, my breasts look like deli sausages hanging in the store front window, and I have no clue where my butt went. The years in the sun have added numerous sun spots and character wrinkles to my face and body. As we age, skin receives less blood flow and lowers gland activity. So my feet are always cold, I’m dealing with acne and a rare skin disease called Pleva. Pleva is tiny blisters on the skin like chicken pox, which are not attractive! The only real treatment is , get this, the sun! Beauty comes from inside and no illness or aging process can touch that. Every woman can be beautiful in her own skin.
My skin is hanging on for dear life and because it continues to fight, how can I let it down. I’m comfortable in my battle weary armor and proud to wear it. Inside I’m all woman and as long as I’m breathing I will embrace every chink in the armor as merely a battle scar protecting my womanly spirit. With aging comes wisdom and a whole new definition of sexy.