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A Lifetime of horses=major sun exposure=skin cancer?

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  • #21
    I grew up on a farm and spent much time outdoors and I have had a few skin cancers cut out. They've been the basal kind. They're no fun. I didn't get any until I was 46 and they said they show up later in life from sunburns you had as a child.


    • #22
      The sun is not your friend.

      I try to keep myself covered or slathered in sunscreen.

      When I am out bush hogging I make a point to put sunscreen on the tops of my hands and wrists. Have the big o straw hat. I put sunscreen on my face necks arms legs, etc or I cover them with clothes. Also, lots of bug spray.

      When I ride I put sunscreen on. Most is covered by riding tights, gloves, and a short sleeved shirt, but still put on sunscreen. Helmet and sun glasses help, but still put it on.

      It is said that if you eat more tomatoes your skin is less sensitive to the sun. You have to eat quite a bit of them. Tomato paste, 2-3 T a day. Saw a test on that. Neat. I do eat my fair share of tomatoes.

      So far I have had no odd spots. I am mostly outside each day, sometimes all day. I prefer the sunscreen which is not greasy. Bug stuff in it is a good thing too.

      The sun is not your friend. Rinse, and repeat.


      • #23
        Lots of skin taken off too - from the cream to frozen nitrogen to biopsies and small ops due to being raised in the tropics and before spf was used.

        I'm not too worried but keep getting checked

        NOW, the thing to do is to watch your kids and use lots of sunscreen to prevent the worst type of skin cancer. A child who receives any amount of sunburns as a kid has more chance of it later in life.
        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


        • #24
          There are stores dedicated to sunscreen clothes, solumbra for example. The shirts are very horse friendly (long sleeve with under arm vents). I use them because I can't stand heat and I actually feel pinpricks on my skin when I'm in the strong sun, ouch. The pants aren't such a good match for riding, too loose. But love the shirts and skirts.


          • #25
            I go to the dermatologist annually for my skin donation. Amazingly, this is the first year something biopsied didn't have to be removed!

            I have learned to love the floppy hats and I wear the Sunbrella or the type of clothing Chall suggested whenever I'm mowing or not riding. They are cool and comfortable even when it's really hot out.

            For riding in really hot weather, I wear sleeveless polos and lather on the sunscreen. The worse damage I have is on my neck/chest (probably from the polo shirts) and the skin already has a "crepe paper" like appearance at 53. But then, I grew up in the 70s and regularly sported a sunburn because we all didn't know any better.

            I really like the Neutragena dry touch sunscreens because dirt and dust doesn't stick as easily to them. I have noticed that if I lather it on at home before a lesson, the sunscreen on my arms tends to leave a whitish layer on the truck interior where I rest my arms while driving. Now I put sunscreen everywhere but the lower arms and put that on after I get out of the truck.


            • #26
              The sun protective clothing and hats is such a good idea.

              I just Googled it and came up with lots of reasonably priced companies, one from Australia with dermatologist approval.

              Then there is the Equivisor for your helmet that I see here and there - now made in the USA.

              My poor husband needs some of these shirts - he has horrible sun allergies
              and is outdoors all day. Goes through Benadryl and sunscreen like crazy.

              Buy some of this clothing for your kids, too!
              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


              • #27
                Solumbra is a good one, so is Coolibar. I only wish they weren't so expensive!
                Good information about upf in general: (sorry it's a mobile link, hope it'll still work)
                I've found some of the technical fabrics that are upf (I want 35 or higher) are actually cooler than a regular long sleeve shirt and don't mind wearing them while riding at all. I was laughing at myself the other day- it was about 80 degrees and I had on my black helmet, riding boots and breeches and a (tech fabric) half zip long sleeve shirt and gloves. Aside from my face (covered in zinc oxide spf 50) the only skin showing was the teeeeeny hole in my gloves where they velcro closed. I felt fine, and was glad for the protection

                Since the summer when they found melanoma, I've had more moles than I can remember biopsied, and five have been moderate atypia. Guess I'm genetically predisposed to get melanoma, regardless. BUT I don't want to push my poor luck any further by being stupid and letting myself burn.
                When I go in for the screenings I'll have some moles in mind that look 'bad' to me, but sometimes the dermatologist isn't concerned about them at all. She will go ahead and remove some just for my peace of mind since I have had it. One thing she says is if a mole looks different from the others, to pay attention to it. Of course my body seems to make moles that all look different from each other, so that's a little confusing!

                I'd say that anyone who is active outdoors should be mindful of sun damage and protect against it. I think the fact that we wear long pants to ride is a plus. My dermatologist even commented how it's great that I ride in gloves.
                Of course I would recommend everyone get a skin check regularly. I'm afraid my bad luck with repeated atypical biopsies has scared people from going in, which is bizarre and stupid to me, but whatever. Also, have your feet and scalp checked, too. I also had to go to the optometrist to get my eyes checked (melanoma of the eyeballs... makes me squirm!) and, since you can get melanoma everywhere and I mean EVERY where, have your gyno check while you're there too.
                Ok, psa over


                • #28
                  Oh forgot to add, Rit makes a laundry additive for sun protection, too. It doesn't work on all kinds of fabrics, but worth checking out!


                  • #29
                    Yup - have had skin cancer more than once. Lots of lotion applied often, baseball hat for face, long sleevs (they actually sell log sleeved shirts with sun resistance), long pants (I live in Florida and have lilly white legs ). Just be smart about it.

                    My oncologist told me it was more about what happened to my skin when I was a child/teenager than in the past 20 years or so.
                    Now in Kentucky


                    • #30
                      I am a big fan of REI Sahara long-sleeved shirts for riding in the sun/heat. They stay pretty cool except on days where it's so hot I probably shouldn't be riding anyway. Because I am short, I wear a Girls XL and leave the bottom snap undone, since Girls clothing does not have room for Womanly Hips.
                      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                      • #31
                        I lost my husband to melanoma. He was a firefighter and many states recognize that being a firefighter puts you at a higher risk of developing melanoma. Sadly, Maryland is not one of those states... but that's a different discussion. RIP- John

                        I am friends with a horsewoman who has had many spots of melanoma removed. :-(

                        I try to be very diligent with my son to protect against the sun. As little as one severe sunburn as a child can be enough to increase chances of developing melanoma. :-( Of us riders, who hasn't had a bad sunburn!

                        Some of the sunscreen ingredients scare me. Plus there is the re-application factor- you just can't put it on and then be out for 4 hrs! We've been trying to go the sun hat route- http://www.sundayafternoons.com/ is where we've been getting our sun hats. I'd love to get some more sun safe clothing, so we can rely less on sunscreen. If anybody has any ideas for reasonably priced long sleeve shirts that are comfortable enough to wear during the summer- I'd love to hear! I've been googling a lot of the companies you guys have listed! I just wish the prices were lower!
                        http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
                        John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
                        Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma


                        • #32
                          I am so sorry MKS - what a loss. Hug.

                          Also, to you YOUNG ladies, wear gloves. I never did in Africa and since we ride 'thumbs up', it is very obvious on my hands with the brown spots above my thumbs and none by my pinkies!
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                          • #33
                            I'm so sorry MKS. I can't imagine what you've been through. Hugs to you.

                            I have found that Columbia makes some sun protective clothing. I think I found mine on sale at one of the big box stores or TJ Maxx maybe?

                            Sierra Trading Post is also a good place to find bargains



                            • #34
                              Just a reminder that the SPF of regular clothing is lower than most people think -

                              Thanks for reminding me that I need to schedule a derm appt for a full body check.
                              Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing


                              • #35
                                I have had many different biopsies since I was a kid. My first precancer was at 22 and my first Basal Cell was about a month ago at 25, but it was on my stomach which is a pretty weird place to get it because they're usually on your face. I figure I'll have many more, but from what I hear they're not really a big deal. Sorr you had to go through it OP. I was in your shoes just a few weeks ago


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Valentina_32926 View Post
                                  My oncologist told me it was more about what happened to my skin when I was a child/teenager than in the past 20 years or so.
                                  Exactly! Takes 20-30 years after significant UV exposure before most skin cancers, including the most serious, melanoma, appear.

                                  Yet there are still plenty of people who believe both they and their kids need to work on a "healthy tan" every summer and that pale skin is a sign of sickliness. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers knew better.


                                  • #37
                                    I am fair skinned – was a dummy and would allow myself to get “tan” (well sorta) as a teenager – but no more.

                                    Ball cap – every day to shade my face.

                                    Long sleeves – I have light cotton long sleeve shirts for the barn (although its not too hot here – I feel bad for those of you that live where it is roasting!)

                                    Sunscreen – the rub proof, sweat proof kind. I use this on my neck, chest, ears and anywhere else that might be exposed (lighter less greasy stuff on my face).

                                    I keep sunscreen in my house, my car, my purse and my tack trunk in case I forget to put some on.

                                    So far, knock on wood, I think its working. I do not have many freckles (I freckle when in the sun too much), and no wrinkles (yet!!) – can’t remember the last time I got a sun burn.

                                    I cringe when I see my BO out in her tank top doing barn chores – skin showing lots of sun exposure and well weathered
                                    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                                    • #38
                                      Dad has had multiple taken off in the past few years. He was a lifeguard in high school and college and never wore sunscreen.

                                      I'm very fair-skinned and since most of my jobs have included field work, I live in sunscreen. It can take up to 10 minutes for the sunscreen to be absorbed, so try to apply before you go outside, and avoid sweating a lot or getting really wet in those first 10 minutes. Be careful with the spray sunscreen too. It's very easy to not get good coverage and the directions will say that you still have to rub it in.

                                      I've had two suspicious but ultimately non-cancerous moles removed, first one at 17. I see a dermatologist regularly and do ABCDE checks of my moles: http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cance...ow-your-abcdes

                                      B-Border (uneven)
                                      C-Color (multiple colors in one mole)
                                      D-Diameter (melanomas usually larger than your pencil eraser)
                                      "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                                      Phoenix Animal Rescue


                                      • #39
                                        I've had a squamous place on my wrist and a big basil on my chest.
                                        While they both have been successfully removed, I'm still not the best about sunscreen. I do avoid the strongest parts of the day for sun exposure though and I don't do beach and pool any longer.


                                        • #40
                                          The other brands I've bought are Columbia, magellan, and another one totally forgotten already.
                                          I hate that most of them look like I should be knee deep in a river, casting flies, or the host of a children's safari TV show. Stylish many of them are not. But comfortable....
                                          Coolibar has a huge selection of sun sleeves, and I have a few pairs. They're a high upf but really thin and don't feel warm at all. I have the regular and the swim versions. Swim versions aren't as cool feeling, but if they're wet they feel nicer. It's a good option if you don't want to wear double layers. I'll wear them in the summer with my uniform polo at work. I also usually have a pair of sun sleeves in my car within reach. Really handy when you find yourself driving with the sun hitting that outside am. (ever since the first results, the feeling of the sun after a few moments is really uncomfortable for me)
                                          I also have a few Buffs from buff USA. They're tubular headbands/scarves and many have upf ratings. They also have some GORGEOUS scarves in their fashion line but not all are sun protective.