Author Topic: Sun damage...  (Read 2256 times)

Sun damage...
« on: January 28, 2010, 07:47:04 pm »
Just making a new thread  - to not divert the other thread: Cholesterol and all that gubbins...

If you don't mind me asking, how long and what ages were you living in tropical areas?

skin 'omas' are my albatross, having grown up on a farm in australia. Not found any yet, I just check frequently and hope.

mrcharly - I lived in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe (latitude approx 17-19°S) from age 4 to 19+.  I'm a couple of yrs older than you; had my first danger mole removed with wide excision aged 22.  I'd hardly ever tried to look at my back (in a mirror) , and actually discovered the mole while I was sitting on a bench in Hyde Park feeling something slightly itchy on my back (but was quite shocked when I actually looked at it later that day).  Fortunately caught in time; GP had me into day surgery at the hospital within about 2 days.

Probably best not to get overly worried, and of course it depends on your skin type and the level of exposure*, but the main thing is, as you're doing, to regularly check for any 'lesions' that change in size, shape, colour or itchiness/bleeding. One thing you can do, if you have a reasonable camera, is take wide, and also detailed pics of back, legs, arms etc, to help with general skin surveillance (as a 'baseline').  Or get someone to check you over every so often; I still book up with the GP for a skin session every year.

*My brother who has a similar skin type, and was in Africa from an earlier age and longer, has only had a minor lesion on his arm, so it may come down to say, me having being sun burnt more often.
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 07:55:17 pm »
I had a large melanoma cut out last year, by my own GP.
It was growing at a really quick rate, but seemed benign.
It was situated above my Infraspinatus. Now left with a large scar the size of a two-pence piece.
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Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 08:33:45 pm »
I had a large melanoma cut out last year by my own GP.
It was growing at a really quick rate, but seemed benign.
It was situated above my Infraspinatus. Now left with a large scar the size of a two-pence piece.

I have an approx 3-4" long scar on my back, so they took quite a chunk.   What's your sun exposure history been like?  
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 08:42:38 pm »
I've been really badly lobstered on a few occasions, a few years previously.
Working outdoors with zero protection.  ::-)

This mole came from nowhere and grew quite quickly. I noticed it had the ol' cauliflower texture,
so that's what made me seek advice on it.
Been fine since. I never thought those stitches would last the week though.
They were in a very "tuggy" spot. (fnarr!)
Quote from: Marbeaux
Have given this a great deal of thought and decided not to contribute to any further Threads for the time being.
POTD. (decade) :thumbsup:

Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 09:20:41 am »
Cheers, ao.

I'm freckly irish type skin - so in theory should be susceptible.

so far, any moles I have seem to be staying small and not getting sore, flaky or any of the other worrying signs.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 09:37:49 am »
+1 for the symptoms described by andyoxon.
I had a rodent ulcer develop on my cheekbone when in my early 50s, got the change in shape/colour and itching and bleeding. My skin tans easily and I did not expect to have developed skin cancer.
The local hospital dermatology department removed it with almost no waiting time.

The slightly worrying thing is, that apart from a month in Mauritius, I had only been exposed to sunshine in the UK....

Tigerrr

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Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 01:18:09 pm »
I have had loads of moles off in the last 10 yrs -  I think it is good to get in early before they change. All mine come from overexposure when I was young - nasty prickly heat and stuff left my back a mess. 
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Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2010, 01:29:14 pm »
+1 for the symptoms described by andyoxon.
I had a rodent ulcer develop on my cheekbone when in my early 50s, got the change in shape/colour and itching and bleeding. My skin tans easily and I did not expect to have developed skin cancer.
The local hospital dermatology department removed it with almost no waiting time.

The slightly worrying thing is, that apart from a month in Mauritius, I had only been exposed to sunshine in the UK....

I'm no expert on risk here, but in theory it only takes a single DNA mutation event by any UV radiation/free radical product to set off an e.g. melanoma, and I think this is why getting sun burnt at all (in tropical or temperate sun) is so potentially dangerous.  The more intense the UV, and/or greater the exposure, the higher the risk.
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2010, 01:47:25 pm »
I have the same - first 26 years in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, where the sun is seriously intense.  I also work outdoors here, and that worries me slightly.  One thing I'm really careful about now is not to get sunburnt, but instead to try to maintain a steady even tan rate.
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Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2010, 01:48:44 pm »
I had a rodent ulcer(basal cell carcenoma) removed 10 years ago they had to do a skin graft about 1" below my right eye ,I do not appear to have had any reacurrence .I am classic melanoma material red haid/ fair skin, as a child I used to burn very easily the dermatologist reckons I should wear sun cream in anything other than fog .The graft was quite effectine but the skin is not as coloured so I have a very pale patch under my eye .The procedure was done using something called a bumble  bee dressing .I went to work next day and was sent home as it was too gory .
.

Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2010, 02:00:09 pm »
maintain a steady even tan rate.

afaik, a tan provides no protection against skin cancer caused by UV.

sunblock, either as a cream or clothing (that has uv blockers in it, normal clothing doesn't stop uv worth a damn) is the only way.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2010, 02:13:35 pm »
I'm not sure that's entirely uncontroversial - isn't there something showing that sunblock causes skin cancer, and that tans will help prevent cancer?
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Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2010, 02:14:16 pm »
Oh, and I'm pretty sure even normal clothing stops UV extremely convincingly.  Just do a search on tanline images.
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Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2010, 02:24:40 pm »
Oh, and I'm pretty sure even normal clothing stops UV extremely convincingly.  Just do a search on tanline images.

I think it depends on which clothing. A thin, pale poly/cotton shirt won't protect much, whereas thick togs wich stop visible light usually stop UV.

Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2010, 02:25:57 pm »
No and no.

UV doesn't cause tanning.

UV passes through light cloud cover quite easily.

UV is not stopped by a thin cotton T shirt.

Sunblock does not give you skin cancer. Unless you are Dr Wakefield.

However, on doing some research, it seems I'm wrong about the tan and protection. Melanin does give some protection.


From the MD website

Quote
Everyday apparel can provide protection. The easiest way to check if a fabric can protect your skin from the harmful UV rays is to hold it up to the light. If you can see through it the rays can penetrate it, the UPF would probably be 15 or less. If light gets through, but you cant’ see through it, the UPF would probably be 15-50. If light is completely blocked by the fabric, the UPF would probably be over 50. Remember, most clothing when wet loses about one third of its sun protectiveness.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2010, 02:37:22 pm »
UV doesn't cause tanning?  I'm pretty sure that is completely wrong.  Tanning is part of our natural defence against burning:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_tanning

As for sunblock not also having harmful effects as well as the beneficial blocking, substantiate or retract please.
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Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2010, 02:43:03 pm »
Wendy, I went and looked it up, rather than relying on my memory.

I couldn't find a single *medical* source that stated that sunblock actually causes damage. Lots of rumour stuff.

It's acknowledged that the chemicals produced when UV reacts with the sunblock ingredients are harmful to cells - but only when they penetrate the skin.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2010, 02:43:28 pm »
I had a rodent ulcer(basal cell carcenoma) removed 10 years ago they had to do a skin graft about 1" below my right eye ,I do not appear to have had any reacurrence .I am classic melanoma material red haid/ fair skin, as a child I used to burn very easily the dermatologist reckons I should wear sun cream in anything other than fog .The graft was quite effectine but the skin is not as coloured so I have a very pale patch under my eye .The procedure was done using something called a bumble  bee dressing .I went to work next day and was sent home as it was too gory .

I can sympathise. I had a BCC removed from my naso-labial fold (side of nose).  First time around in London 'General Surgery/Onc' had a go, and it reoccurred.  Fortunately, I subsequently had Moh's micrographic surgery* in Dermatology Oxford, and had a bit of a 'hole', which apparently would have 'filled' in by itself, but I opted to have it stitched.

* they keep you on the 'table' and do immediate cytology, to check that the margins of your wound are BCC cell free.
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

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Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2010, 02:52:03 pm »
UV doesn't cause tanning?  I'm pretty sure that is completely wrong.  Tanning is part of our natural defence against burning:

Sun tanning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As for sunblock not also having harmful effects as well as the beneficial blocking, substantiate or retract please.


As far as I am aware, there is no credible evidence that sunblocks cause harm.  There was the suggestion that some nanoparticles in sunblock might cause a problem but as far as I know there is no evidence to suggest that is correct.

If you want the real facts, then somewere like the Cancer Council of Australia is probably the best place to look.  Their take on tans is:

"Tanning

A tan is not a sign of good health or wellbeing, despite many Australians referring to a “healthy tan”. Fifty per cent of Australian adults still hold the misguided belief that a tan looks healthy.

Tanning is a sign that you have been exposed to enough UV radiation (from the sun or solarium) to damage your skin. This will eventually cause loss of elasticity (wrinkles), sagging, yellowish discolouration and even brown patches to appear on your skin. Worst of all, it increases your risk of skin cancer.

A tan will offer limited protection from sunburn, but usually no more than SPF4, depending on your skin type. It does not protect from DNA damage, which can lead to skin cancer."


I wish my father had taken more notice of the 'Slip, Slap, Slop' campaign... then he might not have died of malignant melanoma.
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Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2010, 02:59:10 pm »
My take on these issues:

T-Shirts vary in their SPF, some with dense weave offer better protection than others.

Melanin in non-freckled skin, is up-regulated gradually in response to UV light and so skin will darken.  But if UV exposure is too intense and 'non-safe', skin will burn before 'tanning'.

Suncream is safe, and essential, though there has been some debate as to chemical composition (cf recommendations for children in late 90s).  But one issue is that some sun creams are less effective at UVA filtering and so, are potentially less effective long term, and therefore 'dangerous', in that disease may result from excess UVA/free radical exposure' IF people spend a lot of time in the sun, rather than being more cautious when the sun is strongest.
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

onb

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Re: Sun damage...
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2010, 03:36:47 pm »
Sun blocks and creams are only effective for a short period of time and by no means are they any kind of panacea.When in sunny climes on holiday I wear a hat ,cover arms and legs and stop in the shade at peak sunny times .
.