Posted By
12/4/2017 7:28pm
Replies: 4

Dear all,

Hope everyone is fine,

I have several questions because I am a bit lost regarding Sun protection. 

Indeed, after having an atypical Spitz tumor, Dermatologists told me that I have to protect my skin, because I have an increased risk of skin cancer.

However, every Dermatologist does not same the same thing to me. 

Therefore, I would like your advice that I can keep on a daily basis.

I have a very good phone application which gives me the uv index on a daily basis.

But, if I understand, the protection is not the same depending on where you are living. If you live in London, during 6 months, the uv index is very low, most of the time below three, so sunscreen is not necessary, but if you live in Australia, you should use sunscreen everyday right?

When the UV index is at 3 or above, I put sunscreen (High SPF) on the parts which are not covered by my clothes.

I try to go the beach when the UV index is below 3, and I put some sunscreen, even if one of my dermatologists told me that I am safe.

. On the internet, it says that we have to avoid the sun during midday, but I work in the hospitality industry, I am a manager, and I have to oversee many outlets, and one is the pool area. So, during summer, I have my shirt, black pant, and I put some sunscreen on my face.

However, I am a bit lost, I do not want to be paranoid, but I avoid the sun because I am bit scared. But I know that many people with melanoma enjoy vacations in Hawai, Miami and so on, but they are sun smart. 

Can you explain to me?because even on the internet it is not clear.


Thank you very much,


guynamedbilly - (12/4/2017 - 8:07pm)

Not an expert, but my own personal tactic is just always put my sunscreen on in the morning if I'm going to be exposed, and carry it with me to reapply if I'll be out a long time.  Keeping up with UV index and avoiding it in certain times of day would add anxiety that I don't want.

jennunicorn - (12/5/2017 - 1:04am)

I recently spent a week in Mexico in 85+ degree weather and lots of sun.. and came home just as pale as I arrived. I have been a redheaded pale girl my whole life, so sun safety has always been a priority. My big things are: If I am going to be outside for more than 20 minutes at one time in the day I make sure to put on sunscreen and also wear sun protective clothing. Sun protective clothing is SO much easier than sunscreen all over. I use a daily spf face moisturizer so my face is always somewhat protected but I put extra sunscreen on my face if I am going to do some outdoor activity. Hats are a must when I hike or go on outdoor adventures. I have a big sun hat I wear when I go swimming, it folds up easily so I brought it to Mexico and it covers the tops of my shoulders and my neck, great extra protection for water fun. You just have to find the routine that works for you. Don't be scared of the sun, just figure out what works best for you, if that is daily sun screen and having a small sun screen with you (I always have a sunscreen stick in my purse. For situations like if I find myself at lunch at an outdoor table that has more sun than I would like.. I get it out and rub some sunscreen on myself.... things like that become second nature eventually). Or maybe purchasing sun protective shirts to wear at work and using face moisturizer in the morning that has at least 30spf.

You'll find your sun protective groove, don't stress about it :)

Jenn - stage IV NED - Completed Ipi/Nivo (Yervoy/Opdivo) + surgery

Janner - (12/5/2017 - 9:34am)

First, you have to live.  Sun protection doesn't have to be difficult.  Jenn gave you some good advice.  I don't worry about the sunscreen for incidental exposure - like walking in to a store from my car.  I live at a much higher altitude (4800' above sea level) so will burn faster than those closer to sea level.  For me, in winter I rarely ware sunscreen unless I am heading to a ski resort or on vacation.  In summer, I wear SPF clothing or at least long sleeves if I know I am going to be out for a little longer.  I always have a hat available too.  I wear sun screen if I can't wear sun clothing or need a little extra.  I'm also red hair/fair skin so burn quite easily.  If you don't burn as easily, then you can be a little more tolerant.  My goal is similar to Jenn's - avoid color.  If you're not getting any color on your skin, you're doing ok. 

Great advice from everyone.  I am finding my sun protection groove too.  I have a one month old graft on my nose...just bought Jane Iredale's SPF natural makeup; just bought Neutropena sun screen to carry in my purse; bought a new floppy wide brimmed hat to keep in my car; making a face warmer with velcro to cover face in cold weather; started taking Vitamin D3 supplements.  After reading this thread, thinking I won't need to give up my beach vacations...