As the legendary Wolverine we all know and adore, it’s hard to believe that the fierce Hugh Jackman could fall prey to anything.
But even macho men aren’t immune to the devastating effects of cancer.
It shows no partiality.
But there’s one particular type that we tend to willingly bring on ourselves as a sacrifice for that coveted, bronze-kissed summer tan—skin cancer.
Before I cast the first stone, I’ll be the first to admit that I spent a good portion of my life buying more tanning bed packages than a real-life Malibu Barbie. I was an anti-sunscreen, fake-baking queen all the way.
Pale skin was the DEVIL.
But after my own skin cancer scare, the 100 SPF I previously deemed as poison is now my summer saving grace.
And after his sixth round with basal cell carcinoma, Hugh Jackman is projecting that same message loud and clear.
Jackman has been pretty open about his dangerous skin condition, in hopes of spreading awareness to others through his transparency. Per the bandage-nose selfie he posted on Instagram today, you can see he’s holding nothing back.
“Another basal cell carcinoma,” he wrote. “Thanks to frequent body checks and amazing doctors, all is well. Looks worse with the dressing on than off. I swear! #wearsunscreen.”
The post is creating a viral stir amidst hundreds of thousands of fans who are posting well-wishes along with their own stories of battling skin cancer.
Back In May of 2015, Jackman announced that he had four skin cancer spots removed in just 18 months, and doctors warned that those would likely not be the last.
About this time last year, the Australian actor shared another picture of himself after undergoing his fifth removal, along with a message that read, “An example of what happens when you don’t use sunscreen. Basal cell. The mildest form of cancer. PLEASE WEAR SUNSCREEN and get check ups regularly.”
And of course, Jackman isn’t the only one who’s urging us to take these protective measures.
According to the American Cancer Society, at least 8 in 10 of the 3.3 million Americans diagnosed with skin cancer each year get basal cell carcinoma.
“Anyone can get skin cancer, so everyone should take steps to protect themselves from the sun,” says board-certified dermatologist Mark Lebwohl, president of the American Academy of Dermatology. “The Academy recommends everyone choose a sunscreen with a label that states it is broad-spectrum, has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and is water-resistant.”
Long story short, that perfect tan isn’t worth it. So remember to slather on that Banana Boat before you hit the beaches this Spring Break. Your skin will thank you.