Too much sun

Jon Q

Active Member
Like most I have been outside fishing for years. For the second time in two years I have found myself in the doctors office being treated for a minor case of skin cancer caused by the sun. Thank goodness it’s been minor and treatable. If your like me fair skinned and blue eyed your at a bigger risk than most. Here is my advice to all. Please cover up! That includes you hands and face. And always wear long sleeve shirts and pants. And don’t forget the sun screen.
 

landlocked

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Man I’m with you. I went to full on long sleeves and a Chinese fisherman hat years ago in the summer. My Irish/Swedish ancestors didn’t leave me much sun tolerance. Figured I burned 8 of 9 lives as a kid running around the beaches around Deception Pass During summer vacation with no shirt or sunscreen. Besides the Bunch of nudists we saw in 1975, one of my vivid memories of that is seeing who could peel the biggest slab of skin off their buddies back when it started to peel.

im with you, cover up and slather with sunscreen!
 

WAS

Member
Ditto, I had a 5mm piece of my nose removed last week and a couple other spots taken off last fall. Not a fun deal and it will be when and not if the next round occurs. I grew up on a farm in the MW in the days before tractor cabs and sunscreen was not ever used in that realm. Fast forward through a life spent mostly outdoors farming, fishing, hiking and skiing and it's time to pay the piper. Please take care of yourselves.
 

John svah

New Member
I got a beat down from a squamous cell carcinoma at age 36. Lost a good 3 INCHES of my right face, lots of radiation. All good now a decade later so far. While the percentages are lower of SCC getting out of hand, it can still happen.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
It’s all fun and games until you hear your dermatologist say malignant, melanoma and lymph nodes all in one sentence.
My back looks like I’ve been in several knife fights.
Always cover up now with good lightweight clothing, hat and sunscreen.
SF
 

surfnfish

Active Member
self examine religously, have wife/partner help..see something, take a pic with your cell phone to use as a reference going forward...if led a high exposure life (guilty), get checked regularly....been through facial MOHS surgery 3x for cancers, no doubt more to emerge...early is key to survival
 

jaredoconnor

Active Member
WFF Supporter
My home country, Australia, has the highest skin cancer rate in the world. As kids, our teachers wouldn't allow us to go outside during lunch time unless we put sunscreen on and wore a broad brimmed hat. When I go to the beach, I'm the dork wearing a t-shirt in the water. When I go fishing, I look like a ninja, with my long sleeve Simms UV hoody, sun gloves and sun gaiter. It is better to look stupid than be dead.
 

surfnfish

Active Member
My home country, Australia, has the highest skin cancer rate in the world. .
so true...during my surf trips to Margaret River in West OZ durng the early 90's, the older surfers there a motely crew with carved noses, lips, ears...all from cancer removals. My host, a surfer I befriended earlier in Bali, and his wife thought they could improve on the required sun gear their kids had to wear to school so started a company specializing in sun protection gear and uniforms for schools, and have done exceptionally well with it.
 

Rock Creek Fan

Active Member
My first skin cancer was in mid-80's. I stopped counting how many I have had cut out once I hit a 100. Several years ago I had ten cut out just on my face - one a week for 10 weeks in a row. A number of people have commented how young I look. The Doc said I just got a free facelift - LOL. Right now going through the process on my nose for Basal Cell. MOHS with a reconstructive phase that may require skin grafting also.

If you are going through this stuff make sure you get a Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgeon.
 
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Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
I have been out in the sun every summer in my 85 years of existence. I relish the sun. I've never had anything growing out of me that didn't belong on me. My ears get sunburned just being outside in daylight. Had a little something frozen off my nose once. The skin doctor said it wasn't cancer. I have never worried about catching anything.
 

tippet

hardcore flyfishing addict
As a Dermatologist/Dermatopathologist who has clinically and microscopically diagnosed and treated thousands and thousands of skin cancers over the years, I am happy to see this thread. I used to joke with my patients that one never acquired skin cancer from fishing - it was always due to excessive yardwork (Ha Ha), but of course, that is not true. A substantial percentage of my patients were fishers/flyfishers. In fact, over the years I diagnosed 8 malignant melanomas in my fly fishing club, and had to watch one, a good friend who was slow coming in to get a changing mole on his back checked, die from it.

Most non-physicians are vaguely aware of three forms of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Even most non-Dermatologist physicians have little understanding of additional forms of skin cancer. I would estimate that there are approximately EIGHTY different forms of skin cancer, that while rare, a number of which are more deadly than malignant melanoma.

At some point, I might do a detailed write-up about sun protection. For now, I would make the following recommendations:

1. Your first line of defense is protective clothing. Sunscreen is only your second line of defense. Use sunscreen on what you can't protect with a hat, UV protective sunglasses, Beko, Buff, long-sleeve SPF 30-50 shirt, gloves, etc. When you go to the waterpark with kids/grandkinds, wearing that SPF 50 swimshirt is MUCH more protective than smearing SPF 100+ sunscreen all over your chest, back and arms, and reapplying it. I know that doesn't make sense at first blush, but trust me on this. I don't have 30 minutes to explain the physics behind this.

2. Use the highest SPF sunscreen you are able to use. Theoretically, an SPF 50 sunscreen should only let 1/50th of the UV light through, while an SPF 100 sunscreen would let only 1/100th through, with the difference being negligible between them. However, that is not the case! Two different well-designed randomized, double blind studies have shown that in actual use, patients developed more erythema (redness) and quite a few more sunburns on the areas where they were applying the SPF 50 than on the areas where they were applying the SPF 100 sunscreen. (split-body sunscreen A/sunscreen B studies) The most recent study was in J. Am. Acad. Dermatol, Vol. 82, Number 4, April 2020, pp. 869-877 for any who want to read it. I used SPF 55 for years, but changed to SPF 100+ a couple of years ago because of these studies.

3. Not all sunscreens with the same SPF number are equal. The SPF number is measured in an area of short wavelength UV light and tells you almost nothing about coverage in the longer wavelengths that, among other things, play a major role in causing melanoma. Unfortunately, sunscreens don't provide the same protection across the entire ultraviolet spectrum like clothing does. The U.S. has a standard of protection that a sunscreen has to meet in order to be labeled "broad spectrum." The European Union also has a standard that is higher than the U.S. standard for sunscreens to be labeled "broad spectrum." An interesting article was published in the J. Am. Acad. Dermatol, Vol. 77, Number 1, July 2017. It looked at twenty sunscreens sold in the U.S. as broad spectrum sunscreens, selected because of "their sales volume, SPF values, and accessibility." So these were the most widely used broad spectrum sunscreens in the U.S. Nineteen of the twenty actually met or exceeded the U.S. standard for being labeled broad spectrum. However, only eleven met the European standard. Sunscreen #14 in the study was one of the eleven that met both U.S. and European standards. It is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 55, the sunscreen that I have personally used for many years until recently, when I changed to the same sunscreen by Neutrogena in the SPF 100+ strength. (disclaimer - I have no relationship with or financial interest in Neutrogena, i.e. no stock in it etc.) By the way, a number of my Plastic Surgeon and Dermatology colleagues sell sunscreens to patients. I am unaware of any evidence of their superiority over sunscreens available commercially, but they are certainly much more expensive.

4. Certain areas such as the nose, top of the head and top of the ears are particularly susceptible to sun damage and skin cancers, precancers, etc. The face is the most common location for the most common skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, and the NOSE is the most common location on the face. I ALWAYS wear a Buff when I fish, as do many others. However, many who wear Buffs don't cover their nose, because it fogs up their sunglasses, leaving the highest risk area for skin cancer on the face still exposed. I get around this by attaching a Beko to my sunglasses to protect my nose. They admittedly look a bit strange, but they are effective. With my hat, sunglasses, Beko and Buff, I look a bit like a terrorist or crazy person, and I revel in the fact that it likely causes other fishers to "socially distance" from me to a greater extent than they might otherwise! The top of the head is another vulnerable area . If you think about it, the top of the head is roughly perpendicular to the sun's rays during the day, and the number of photons per square inch per second hitting the top of your head is substantially higher than hitting your cheeks at a much more oblique angle. It would take you seven or eight hours outside for your cheeks to get the same amount of damage that the top of your balding head gets in just one hour. If you are thinning at all, you should wear a hat walking from the car to the grocery store. People with a full head of hair should wear a hat if they are out in intense sun for a period of time, gardening, mowing the lawn, etc., because of the light hitting their part in their hair and the whorl at the posterior top of the head, I have removed multiple cancers and numerous precancers from the parts on women's heads. Broad brimmed hats are better for protecting the top of the ears (where I have found hundreds of cancers over the years) and the temples, which are another common area for skin cancer.

I hope that this lengthy diatribe will help some of you avoid or mitigate the sun induced skin cancer problem so prevalent among flyfishers.

Grandpa Blueface - as my grandkids like to call me when I am dressed for fishing.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
As a Dermatologist/Dermatopathologist who has clinically and microscopically diagnosed and treated thousands and thousands of skin cancers over the years, I am happy to see this thread. I used to joke with my patients that one never acquired skin cancer from fishing - it was always due to excessive yardwork (Ha Ha), but of course, that is not true. A substantial percentage of my patients were fishers/flyfishers. In fact, over the years I diagnosed 8 malignant melanomas in my fly fishing club, and had to watch one, a good friend who was slow coming in to get a changing mole on his back checked, die from it.

Most non-physicians are vaguely aware of three forms of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Even most non-Dermatologist physicians have little understanding of additional forms of skin cancer. I would estimate that there are approximately EIGHTY different forms of skin cancer, that while rare, a number of which are more deadly than malignant melanoma.

At some point, I might do a detailed write-up about sun protection. For now, I would make the following recommendations:

1. Your first line of defense is protective clothing. Sunscreen is only your second line of defense. Use sunscreen on what you can't protect with a hat, UV protective sunglasses, Beko, Buff, long-sleeve SPF 30-50 shirt, gloves, etc. When you go to the waterpark with kids/grandkinds, wearing that SPF 50 swimshirt is MUCH more protective than smearing SPF 100+ sunscreen all over your chest, back and arms, and reapplying it. I know that doesn't make sense at first blush, but trust me on this. I don't have 30 minutes to explain the physics behind this.

2. Use the highest SPF sunscreen you are able to use. Theoretically, an SPF 50 sunscreen should only let 1/50th of the UV light through, while an SPF 100 sunscreen would let only 1/100th through, with the difference being negligible between them. However, that is not the case! Two different well-designed randomized, double blind studies have shown that in actual use, patients developed more erythema (redness) and quite a few more sunburns on the areas where they were applying the SPF 50 than on the areas where they were applying the SPF 100 sunscreen. (split-body sunscreen A/sunscreen B studies) The most recent study was in J. Am. Acad. Dermatol, Vol. 82, Number 4, April 2020, pp. 869-877 for any who want to read it. I used SPF 55 for years, but changed to SPF 100+ a couple of years ago because of these studies.

3. Not all sunscreens with the same SPF number are equal. The SPF number is measured in an area of short wavelength UV light and tells you almost nothing about coverage in the longer wavelengths that, among other things, play a major role in causing melanoma. Unfortunately, sunscreens don't provide the same protection across the entire ultraviolet spectrum like clothing does. The U.S. has a standard of protection that a sunscreen has to meet in order to be labeled "broad spectrum." The European Union also has a standard that is higher than the U.S. standard for sunscreens to be labeled "broad spectrum." An interesting article was published in the J. Am. Acad. Dermatol, Vol. 77, Number 1, July 2017. It looked at twenty sunscreens sold in the U.S. as broad spectrum sunscreens, selected because of "their sales volume, SPF values, and accessibility." So these were the most widely used broad spectrum sunscreens in the U.S. Nineteen of the twenty actually met or exceeded the U.S. standard for being labeled broad spectrum. However, only eleven met the European standard. Sunscreen #14 in the study was one of the eleven that met both U.S. and European standards. It is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 55, the sunscreen that I have personally used for many years until recently, when I changed to the same sunscreen by Neutrogena in the SPF 100+ strength. (disclaimer - I have no relationship with or financial interest in Neutrogena, i.e. no stock in it etc.) By the way, a number of my Plastic Surgeon and Dermatology colleagues sell sunscreens to patients. I am unaware of any evidence of their superiority over sunscreens available commercially, but they are certainly much more expensive.

4. Certain areas such as the nose, top of the head and top of the ears are particularly susceptible to sun damage and skin cancers, precancers, etc. The face is the most common location for the most common skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, and the NOSE is the most common location on the face. I ALWAYS wear a Buff when I fish, as do many others. However, many who wear Buffs don't cover their nose, because it fogs up their sunglasses, leaving the highest risk area for skin cancer on the face still exposed. I get around this by attaching a Beko to my sunglasses to protect my nose. They admittedly look a bit strange, but they are effective. With my hat, sunglasses, Beko and Buff, I look a bit like a terrorist or crazy person, and I revel in the fact that it likely causes other fishers to "socially distance" from me to a greater extent than they might otherwise! The top of the head is another vulnerable area . If you think about it, the top of the head is roughly perpendicular to the sun's rays during the day, and the number of photons per square inch per second hitting the top of your head is substantially higher than hitting your cheeks at a much more oblique angle. It would take you seven or eight hours outside for your cheeks to get the same amount of damage that the top of your balding head gets in just one hour. If you are thinning at all, you should wear a hat walking from the car to the grocery store. People with a full head of hair should wear a hat if they are out in intense sun for a period of time, gardening, mowing the lawn, etc., because of the light hitting their part in their hair and the whorl at the posterior top of the head, I have removed multiple cancers and numerous precancers from the parts on women's heads. Broad brimmed hats are better for protecting the top of the ears (where I have found hundreds of cancers over the years) and the temples, which are another common area for skin cancer.

I hope that this lengthy diatribe will help some of you avoid or mitigate the sun induced skin cancer problem so prevalent among flyfishers.

Grandpa Blueface - as my grandkids like to call me when I am dressed for fishing.
I tried to read this but gave up. Too many 25 dollar words in this post for me to understand. I went and bought me a muff or a buff or whatever the damn thing is called. It would be cool to have when I ride my ATV to keep the bugs out of my mouth. Going to have to look up what Beko is. Also going to go and buy me a hat to cover my ears.

Edit: Looking up that word Beko, gave me an appliance from Turkey.
 
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Freestone

Active Member
WFF Supporter
This is a timely post for me because at 4pm yesterday, I had a video appointment with my doctor about a strange looking spot (white with red border) on my cheek that I have been concerned about. Unfortunately in this time of pandemic, I have to try and get a good photo of it so she can send it out for a consult rather than having a face-to-face (so to speak) aappointment.

As a kid, I spent way too much time outside before sunscreen was widely used. Heck, in the 70’s, it was common for us teen girls to just use baby oil when tanning, which we spent hours doing in our tiny bikinis. One summer my sister, blonde-haired and blue-eyed like 4 of us, took great pride in her tan because she got darker than our friend next door who was African American. As they say, I wish we knew then what I know now!
 

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