This Terrifying Skin Cancer Selfie Will Convince You to Wear SPF

You've heard countless times about the importance of wearing sunscreen, regardless of season. But were you really paying attention? To be honest, even as beauty editors, we sometimes "forget" (read: intentionally leave out) applying SPF in hopes of getting a little sun-kissed glow. We'll never do that again now that we've seen the harmful results.

Tawny Willoughby, a 28-year-old nurse and mother from Alabama, shared a graphic selfie of the effects of skin cancer treatment with her Facebook friends, saying she's been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma five times and squamous cell carcinoma once in the past six years. She admits to tanning several times a week because she felt like her glow faded too quickly. Now, she skips sunning in favor of wearing sunscreen and spray tans. "You only get one skin and you should take care of it," insists Tawny. "Don't let tanning prevent you from seeing your children grow up."

This gory image is a harsh reminder of the importance of regular dermatologist visits. Be sure to visit your doctor at least once a year for a full body scan, and get any suspicious or new spots checked out. "I go to the dermatologist every six to 12 months and usually have a skin cancer removed at each checkup," admits Tawny.

Skin Cancer Selfie

Skin Cancer Selfie

"This treatment was done using a cream called Aldara (imiquimod)," explains Tawny. This at-home topical treatment causes your immune system to attack skin cancer cells, which causes the scabbing and crusting you see in the photo. Tawny has tried a wide range of treatments, including cryotherapy, surgical excision, and photodynamic therapy (PDT). Consider us scared straight!