Jo Irving, 32, was a self-proclaimed “tanorexic” who had been tanning in tanning beds five times a week for the last 18 years.
Then, in 2012, Irving noticed a “pearly white boil” on the side of her nose. When it didn’t go away after a few months, she went to see a doctor, who referred to the boil as a “rodent ulcer.” Doctors removed the growth right away, but due to the depth of skin needed to remove it, Irving was given a skin graft in it’s place.
Unfortunately, the graft didn’t take, so Irving was left with a huge hole in the side of her face that took over five weeks to heal.
Irving was awake during the procedure, and she later described the ordeal.
“I could smell the burning of my flesh and because it was behind my ear, I could hear every little thing,” she said.
Today, Irving has vowed to never step in a tanning bed again. She wants to raise awareness about the dangers of tanning beds “to make people aware it’s not just moles they should check. They should look for other changes in their skin too.”
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