I have been a fisherman for 70 years and a hunter for nearly as long. I’d like to be able to say that I have been sun safe for all of that time, but like everyone else in the 1950’s, I didn’t give it much thought during those years. However, I think in 40 years of living the outdoor life as a dermatologist, I have things figured out. The picture illustrates most of what I tell patients to do. I have my buff pulled down for the trophy bonefish shot, but my brother-in-law (also an MD) is wearing his the proper way. The buff also comes in camouflage for hunting wildlife such as turkey, ducks, deer, and elk.
- Always wear a hat. We use long-billed hats for fishing so we don’t need to use sunblock on the forehead. No matter what brand you use, it has a way of sneaking into the eyes.
- The Buff, super lightweight neck gaiter, can be pulled up over the ears and even the nose.
- Sun protecting gloves.
- Lightweight long sleeve shirt and pants.
- I use the highest SPF sunscreen I can find. Remember, you are trying to catch a fish, not get a tan. Look at the skin on the face of a fishing guide sometime and count the wrinkles! I like the #70 spray for feet (sandals), forearms and nape of neck.
- Polarized Sunglasses. Protect your eyes from the sun, hooks, and shotgun pellets. You can’t see the fish in the water without them.
- As I always tell patients, even ones who have had skin cancer, get outdoors and enjoy yourself – go golfing, fishing, walking – but be smart about it.