Tag Archive | dermatology

A whiter shade of pale


In what surely was the strangest doctor visit ever, my dermatologist sat me down, looked at me very seriously, and said,

“You should move.”


“Your skin is too fair this part of the country. If you stay, you’ll have to wear long sleeved clothing, hats, etc. Sunscreen isn’t enough. That or you’ll have to live indoors and only venture out between dusk and dawn.”

Really, I thought he was joking. I know I’m pale, but . . . .

“I’m serious.  With your genetic background and your family’s history (thanks mum) of melanoma, it’s too big a risk. Life in Southern California, even the Southwest, isn’t healthy for you. “

At some level, I knew this was coming. I’ve had all sorts of skin problems since I arrived here, up to and including a bout of pityriasis rosea and a staph infection that caused my hair to fall out (the cure was apple cider vinegar, African black soap, and monistat, but the hair grew back).

I love California, the people, the landscape, it’s a great place. But I’m just not genetically equipped to adapt to this climate successfully. I accept that.

I came here originally to help out with my grandfather, who has since passed. There was really no reason to stay on, other than I’d developed friends and grew close to my gran and some cousins. Maybe it’s time to move on? Maybe the Universe is saying, “Pack it in, my dear. Better days and greener grass ahead, but elsewhere.”

Perhaps I’ll migrate to the Pacific Northwest in the Spring?