Brave U.S. mom suffering from skin cancer shares graphic selfie as a stark warning against the dangers of sun beds
A young mother suffering from skin cancer has been praised for her bravery after sharing a shocking photo of her treatment as a stark warning to sunbed users.
The picture of Alabama nurse Tawny Willoughby, 27, showing her face covered with bloody scars and blisters.
'If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here you go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like,' she wrote.
As a teenager growing up in Kentucky, Willoughby admits that she used sunbeds four or five times a week.
'I had my own personal tanning bed in my home and so did a lot of my friends growing up... everyone tanned,'
'I didn't really even think about the future or skin cancer at the time.'
Six years ago one of Willoughby's nursing school classmates was diagnosed with melanoma and so she decided to make her first dermatology appointment.
At just 21 she was told she had skin cancer and since then she has had basal cell carcinoma five times and squamous cell carcinoma once.
She now visits her dermatologist every six to 12 months and 'usually has a skin cancer removed at each checkup'.
Tawny uses a specialist cream and has had a string of treatments, including using liquid nitrogen on her face to freeze tumours.
'Wear sunscreen and get a spray tan. You only get one skin and you should take care of it. Learn from other people's mistakes,' warns Willoughby, who is married to husband Cody and has a young son, Kayden.
'Don't let tanning prevent you from seeing your children grow up. That's my biggest fear now that I have a two-year-old little boy of my own.
'Skin cancer is not always moles, only one of mine have been a mole. Get any suspicious, new and growing spot checked out. Anything that doesn't heal, possibly bleeds on and off and crusts.
'The sooner you find it the less likely it will leave a disfiguring scar or grow deep enough to metastasize.