Preventing Skin Cancer While Fishing
Jeff does a great discussion on preventing skin cancer while fishing. The key point he makes is that prevention starts when you are young. If you are getting sun spots as you age, this is from damage that has occurred your whole life.
Preventing skin cancer while fishing
“Fishing is about spending time outdoors. And more often than not, most people enjoy fishing when the weather is nice and the sun is at its strongest. That puts many of America’s 50 million anglers at risk for skin cancer,” says Dr. Economou. “The more time you spend outdoors fishing, the greater risk of exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation and sunburns.”
Here are some tips for anglers from Dr. Economou about how to reduce your risk to skin cancer without giving up your favorite sport.
Apply Sunblock. When you’re on the water you want to catch fish, not get skin cancer. Always apply sunblock lotion at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun, before you start to perspire, allowing the sunblock to soak into your skin. Apply sunblock lotion frequently throughout the day. Use a sunblock with a SPF rating of at least 30 an arms, legs, face and neck and a water-resistant SPF of 50+ on your nose and the top of your ears.
Wear a Hat. The most susceptible place on your body for skin cancer is your head and face. Believe me, reconstructive surgery on the nose and ears is challenging. Whether it’s sunny or cloudy out, at the very least, wear a cap with a front bill. Ideally wear a cap with both a front bill and a back bill to cover up the back of your neck. Cover your head, too. You can get skin cancer on your scalp even if you have a full head of hair. Always cover your ears, nose and back of your neck with sunblock.
Polarized UV Blocking Sunglasses. Wear sunglasses to protect your retinas from harmful UV rays. Sunglasses that wrap around your face offer the best protection. Polarized lenses help cut the glare, help you see more fish and protect your eyes from flying fishing lures. This is one piece of equipment that every angler should invest in. It’s just as important as buying a high quality rod and reel.
Wear Protective Clothing. If you have a high risk or history of skin cancer you should look into protective clothing. Saltwater flats guides who spend their days in the sun in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and California know a thing or two about skin cancer. That’s why they cover up. Even on the hottest days, they wear long but lightweight, light-colored pants, long-sleeve shirts, caps, gloves, and lightweight shoes. Saltwater guides also rely upon light-weight face and head masks or what downhill skiers call gators, which they can pull up over the nose, just under their sunglasses and over their ears. Wear shirts and pants that are specially made to block the sun, and wick away moisture to keep you cool while out on the water. Look for shirts and pants that offer a UPF rating of at least 30+, as recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays. Remember, UV rays are present even on cloudy days. For more information, please see the original article here.
Of course, if you are older, it is still very important to take steps to prevent skin cancer while fishing. Follow Jeff’s advice and keep yourself healthy so you can fish for smallmouths until you’re 100 years old!