Karole Honas underwent a medical treatment earlier today, called photodynamic therapy, or a "blue light" treatment.
She had to get it done because of decades of sun damage that had built up on her face, to the point where it could have become dangerous.
The belief in the 1960s was the darker the tan, the healthier you were.
?Yeah, we worshipped the sun,? Karole said.
Before Karole began her television career, she was a lifeguard.
?We took baby oil and put iodine in it and squirted ourselves while we did our nine- or 10-hour shifts in the sun,? she recalled.
With her tan faded and lifeguard career behind her, Karole is now left to deal with the consequences.
?I came to the doctor because I had a flaky spot on my arm -- a little white, flaky spot on my arm and on my forehead,? Karole said. ?And every day I wake up and take this flake of skin off, take this flake of skin off, so I finally came to the dermatologist and said, ?I feel like a hypochondriac, but is there something wrong here?? And he goes, ?Yeah, that's precancerous.? I'm like, ?What?!??
Karole's dermatologist, Dr. Lindsay Sewell, explains that because of all of those years of sun exposure, she now has what's called actinic keratoses. It's not cancer yet, but if left untreated it can evolve into squamous cell carcinoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.
?Pre-cancers can turn into skin cancer,? Sewell said. ?Once you have skin cancer, there are fewer options to treat.?
Thankfully, the "blue light" therapy is non-invasive. After a cleansing wipe-down with acetone, the doctors applied the special medication. Then, a two-hour waiting period, and it was time to get under the light.
?That light activates the chemical that this stuff is converted into in your skin, and it just kills those rapidly dividing skin cells," Sewell explained.
Sewell says the treatment is incredibly effective, and even helps reduce brown spots and wrinkles.
However, Karole, who is in the business of looking good, knows that's not the moral of this story.
?Girls, stay out of the sun or else you'll look like this when you're my age!? she said. ?You don't want to do that. You do not want to do this.?
Karole will be out as her skin heals over the next two weeks.
The procedure costs about $420, but is submittable to insurance companies.