A young woman shared a warning with others to avoid using tanning beds by taking a selfie of her skin cancer treatment.
Tawny Dzierzek took to Facebook to share the graphic photo, and explained the circumstances that led to her diagnosis.
"I did the bulk of my tanning in high school," she wrote. "I sometimes laid up to 4 times a week (I laid frequently because my tan faded very fast). I never laid in the tanning bed and in the sun in the same day. I never laid in the tanning bed twice in one day. I had my first skin cancer diagnosis at 21."
"Now, at 27, I've had basal cell carcinoma 5 times and squamous cell carcinoma once (excluding my face). I go to the dermatologist every 6-12 months and usually have a skin cancer removed at each checkup. I'm very thankful to not have had melanoma! Skin cancer is not always moles, only one of mine have been a mole."
She advised everyone to get any suspicious spots or growths checked by a doctor. "Anything that doesn't heal, possibly bleeds on and off and crusts," she noted.
She also said that it's important to get anything checked and treated as quickly as possible to avoid disfiguring scars or cancer that metastasizes.
She warned readers that melanoma, one of the forms of skin cancer, can be deadly.
Dermatology specialist and lead nurse at London's Skin Limited, told the Mirror that skin cancer is "particularly prevalent among young people and is associated with unprotected sun exposure and sunbed use."
Getting a spray tan, she added, is "the safest way to get color without the risk."
Many readers said they would avoid tanning beds, knowing how unsafe they are.
"Beautiful lady..I never did a tanning bed for one thing I hate tanning for another the things remind me of a coffin," one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page.
Others expressed sympathy towards Dzierzek and her struggle with skin cancer.
"I'm so sorry you're going through this," one reader commented on her Facebook post. "I'll be praying for you. Don't beat yourself up! We all do things that aren't good for us in one way or another at some point in our lives. It's just sometimes it hurts us, sometimes we may get away with it. But we learn and grow and that's what counts. God bless you!"
"I am sorry my prayers goes to you," wrote another. "It means a lot that you are sharing your story for those out there to learn read and understand."