Only One Skin – Protect It!

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Posted by: Captain Woody - Comments Off on Only One Skin – Protect It!

“I don’t need any sunscreen, it’s cloudy, and the suns not out are the all time excuses for not applying sun protection. Don’t be fooled, cloud cover does nothing to filter the sun’s damaging rays”.

The last thing any angler or boater wants is “close encounter of the sun kind” resulting serious skin damage from those commanding and powerful rays. Long considered the badge of an outdoor sportsman a dark tan can and often does lead to premature aging and wrinkles but that’s not the worst affect caused by the sun. Spending extensive periods of time in the sun without protection will lead to more severe consequences including Melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, millions of cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, the most dangerous type being Melanoma. More common than the potentially lethal Malignant Melanoma are other, slower-spreading skin cancers, such as Basal Cell or Squamous Cell carcinomas. The risks are even greater if you are fair-skinned and even with increased awareness and protections Melanoma will strike hundreds of light skinned people this year.

Despite the alarming numbers, there’s no need to be unreasonable about getting out enjoying a day of boating or fishing fun. Still, it’s prudent to guard against the sun’s damaging effects. These steps on a regular basis may help save your skin… not to mention you LIFE!

Before You Go:

Early outdoor sun worshipers and anglers used little or nothing before heading out to enjoy their favorite activity. Today, medical and health advances have given us sophisticated and successful bull-frog-protection1sunscreen products for blocking out the sun’s ultraviolet rays. However, not all are created equal. Experts, recommend the use of at least a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or a sunscreen that provides at least 30 times your skin’s normal level of protection. For anglers and boaters, the best sunscreens are the water resistant type because they are less likely to wash off during the day.

At least one-hour prior exposure, you should apply sunscreens liberally over all exposed parts of your body. This gives it time to effectively bond with your skin. Over time wind, water and body oils tend to wear away the effectiveness of even water resistant lotions. So boaters, swimmers and anglers should re-apply protection from time to time throughout the day.

Protect Your Eyes: Don’t think that simply wearing a hat or visor will protect your eyes from the sun. Sunglasses are essential.

According to respected Ophthalmologists, it’s very important to protect not only your skin, but also your eyes from the damaging effects of the sun. Failure to do so can contribute greatly to the development of serious eye diseases, including cataracts and macular degeneration of the retina, the leading cause of blindness for Americans over the age of 55.

Boaters, anglers or anyone spending time outside and on the water should wear quality sunglasses that block harmful UVA and UVB. When purchasing sunglasses it’s key to give consideration to composition and design but first and foremost, polarization. Good quality polarized sunglasses provide protection from the suns harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays and eliminate glare and blue light. Quality sunglasses significantly increase a boater’s visibility; allow anglers spot fish, bait and current breaks. Available in various styles, sunglasses should be comfortable and provide effective eye protection.

According to the FDA and the Sunglass Association of America not all sunglasses offer the same level of protection. Beware of cosmetic cheap sunglasses as they generally only screen out about 70 percent of UVB rays, and 20 percent of UVA rays. On the other hand, quality polarized sunglasses appropriate for boating applications normally screen out at least 95 percent of UVB rays, 60 percent of UVA rays and about 60 to 92 percent of visible light. Many top of the line sunglasses will offer 100 percent protection against both UVA and UVB rays. “Read the manufacturers label”.

It’s Not a Fashion Show: Remember, it’s not a fashion show out there… the goal is to catch fish, enjoy being out there, and at the same time limit your exposure to the sun. When selecting a hat, do it on functionality and comfort, not looks or a hip logo. While most anglers are devoted to their lucky fishing caps, these old favorites often do little in providing significant sun protection. The brims and bills aren’t long or wide enough to protect either your face or neck. Some newer styles are featuring longer and wider brims and some also offer built-in protection for the back of the neck.

Head for the shade: Most fishing boats are either center consoles or open, designed to provide the most room for fishing. Unfortunately, these boats also offer little in the way of sun protection. One way to provide your self some cover is installing a T-top. These tops are somewhat pricey but offer excellent protection and also afford places to mount rod-holders and other useful accessories. Bimini tops on the other hand are less expensive but still offer good protection. Numerous styles, functionality and affordable models of both T-tops and Bimini tops are available to suit a wide variety of boats. In addition to sun protection for the boat operator and passengers, T-tops and Bimini tops also provide some shelter from the weather should it suddenly take a turn for the worse?

This article is owned by Capt. Woody Gore and is copyright protected. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by Capt. Gore. wgore@ix.netcom.com