Skin cancer travel tips, who needs them? Active boomer travelers do! And don’t make the mistake, like I did, of thinking that the damage has already been done way back in childhood. According to an article by Sheryl Kraft at Next Avenue, “The Skin Cancer Foundation reports a recent study showing that we get less than 25 percent of our total sun exposure by the age of 18. So it’s never too late to make sunscreen a daily habit.” And that’s why we need skin cancer travel tips, or every day skin cancer tips for that matter.
In the last six months, I’ve had one mole cut out near my Achilles tendon because the dermatologist felt it had the potential to become a melanoma. It took forever to heal causing me to miss out on a soak in the hot tub on our Thanksgiving visit to Triple Creek Ranch and, again, no hot tub for the first part of our Antarctica cruise on Seabourn.
Just last month, I had a pesky bump removed near my right nostril because I didn’t like the looks of it. Turns out it was a basal cell carcinoma, my second one. The first basal cell, back in 2010, resulted in MOHS surgery—look it up, it’s not fun—on my left nostril. Thankfully, I had a skilled surgeon. You’d never notice unless I show you.
And, being a fair-skinned redhead, Alan has had his share of biopsies and pre-cancerous spots frozen off by the dermatologist.
I could go on about wearing sunscreen and staying out of the midday sun, in fact, I did that in a My Well-Being article about getting creative with sun protection. But those skin cancer travel tips aren’t anything new. Here are a couple of sun protection ideas that I’ve added to my travel toolbox.
Wear SPF Clothing
Most of the sun protective shirts that I’ve seen are either long-sleeve tees to wear when snorkeling and swimming or safari-type hiking shirts. But the Claude Long Sleeve Shirt from Craghoppers not only has SolarShield zinc oxide but the small checked design looks good for more than hiking on the trail. Alan will be wearing his (thanks Craghoppers) on our upcoming road trip to protect against the UV rays coming through the car windows.
And the Leon swim shorts from Craghoppers protects places on your body that you might not have thought about. Who applies sunscreen underneath their bathing suit?
I recommend ordering a size up with Craghoppers. The XL size (Alan’s usual size) was slightly too small for him.
Apply a quality spf cream on your face every morning
Prime and Defend from Société Clinical Skincare is the best product I’ve found for protecting my face. The tinted spf 30 sunscreen is waterproof and doesn’t clog pores. Although it can be used as a primer underneath makeup, I wear Prime and Defend as a combination makeup/sunscreen for daytime. This is a pricey product but the tube lasts about three months for me. Société Clinical Skincare products are only available from dermatologists, plastic surgeons or spas.
Protect your eyes
Ultraviolet sunlight is one of the factors for developing cataracts so wearing sunglasses is a must for boomer travelers. I’ve always had great vision until I recently flubbed the vision test at my first Medicare physical. First the nurse who administered the test and then the doctor said, “You really need to visit an eye doctor for a checkup.” So I did.
Now I wear glasses for distance vision. Because I already have small cataracts forming—they have a long way to grow before removal—my optometrist recommended Jonathan Paul Fitovers sunglasses in an amber lens. These sunglasses fit over my distance glasses. They are an economical solution for a boomer who’s just getting used to wearing glasses and who doesn’t need the vision deterioration that dark sunglass lenses or progressive lenses might create.
Take care of your lips
Skin cancer on the lips is no fun. In addition to wearing sunscreen on your lips, frequently apply spf lip balm throughout the day.
Who knows what advances I’ll be reporting to you in next year’s skin cancer travel tips article? By then, maybe there’ll be more conclusive evidence that vitamin B3 reduces skin cancer risk. Stay tuned!