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Thread: Sunburnt hands

  1. #1
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    Default Sunburnt hands

    Hello,
    I'm looking for people's experiences with sunburns on the hands. Every time I go to Bonaire with shore diving, no gloves and gearing up without shade my hands get burnt. To this end what does everyone else do to avoid burns. I wear a sun shirt and sunblock but I guess gearing up the sunscreen gets removed due to sweat then the dive washes off whatever remains. I return home with burnt hands and pasty white everywhere else.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Kralendijk & NJ
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    Chris, maybe try a pair of sun sleeves? Here is one source. Just make sure that they have the thumb hole for hand coverage.

    http://www.uvskinz.com/Sun-Sleeves-U...z-p/070650.htm

  3. #3
    tursiops's Avatar
    tursiops is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    There are some pretty good waterproof sun blocks that last for hours. SolRX is one popular one, and I've had decent luck with BullFrog.
    My wife is pretty sensitive...she wears sun gloves (plus blocks) while gearing up, and just takes them off right at the last minute before going in the water.
    Mel Briscoe, Alexandria, Virginia

  4. #4
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    May 2011
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    ONTARIO, CANADA
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    Chris, checkout BLUE LIZARD SUNSCREEN. Our son had Cancer and this is what the Dermatoligist told him to get. We use it every time we go away, including Bonaire. Works great

  5. #5
    DrDirector is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    I second oshendvr re Blue Lizard. We have used it for years and our dermatologist highly recommends it - especially for me with my lily-white skin and a propensity for skin cancer. It is a combination of two physical sunblocks (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide). Goes on white (think of the white stuff on a lifeguard's nose - that was straight zinc oxide) but it can be rubbed in with a little effort. Virtually waterproof -we apply it before we go out in the morning and it generally works all day (although we sometimes reapply in the afternoon). Takes soap to get it off. And it it relatively benign to the reef since it does not wash off in the water. Found it years ago when we read about a survey of the various sun screens and their benefits and hazards, and this was near the top of the list. Comes in several varieties - we use the version for sensitive skin which is identical in formulation to the version for babies and kids (and I have the e-mail from Blue Lizard's manufacturer that states that). We buy it in the gallon jug size and it lasts us 2 - 3 years (its shelf life is now 3 years). (My wife and I together go though about 40 ounces during our 5-week stay.) We use it when we go diving, hiking and biking, and have never burned. After 5 weeks on Bonaire I will come home with a slight tan but without having had any sunburns. Available in most pharmacies in the U.S. (small sizes only) and online - we buy ours online. Not inexpensive though - about $200 - $250 per gallon so about $2 per ounce, but well worth it. Oh, and don't be concerned about it being listed as SPF 30+. It was developed in Australia and their ratings can only say that it exceeds SPF 30; they can't claim SPF 50 or anything other than 30+.

  6. #6
    wwguy's Avatar
    wwguy is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    I'm a fair-skinned lad too. My primary outdoor sport back home is whitewater rafting, where I spend days on the water with my hands exposed to the sun. Here's what works for me for both sports:
    • I use a good quality waterproof sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. My current favorite are Aloe Gator SPF 40 and Coppertone Sport SPF 30 lotions. I prefer lotions over gels or spray. Gels leave my hands feeling sticky after applying and I haven't found a spray that works and justifies the incremental cost.
    • I initially apply it 30 minutes or more before going outside, when my skin is still clean and dry.
    • The I reapply sunscreen throughout the day immediately after I'm dry again after snorkeling or diving. Religiously.


    I've been burned plenty of times after forgetting to apply or reapply sunscreen, but I've never been burned when following the regime above. It's tough to recover from initial sunburn and continue the outdoor activity without discomfort and further burning. So for me the the trick is in avoiding the first burn. I've noticed quite a few folks that don't apply sunscreen until after an initial burn because they believe they need some sort of initial excess sun exposure to get some "base color".

    I think it's also worth noting that SPF is a rating that factors in sunscreen efficiency (how much sun is blocked) and duration (for how long). Using SPF 50 sunscreen doesn't do you much good if it's rubbed, worn, or washed off while diving. You'd likely get better results from applying SPF 15 at more frequent intervals... and of course from applying the SPF 50 more frequently.

    Reading the accolades above I'm going to try Blue Lizard next. It sounds like good stuff!

  7. #7
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    Thank you for everyone's advice
    Chris

  8. #8
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    Good sunscreen is the key, both externally and internally. I use both the external lotions and a supplement that also helps. I do not burn easily but if I did I might add a pair of gloves while setting up. Many places forbid gloves while diving, but they'd be fine for use setting up the kit.

    Cheers,
    DS

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