Clover flowers. Bright and sunny!

Sun’s Out! Sun Care Tips for Hoopers

The sun is out!  And the Memorial Day weekend forecast looks promising, too.  And the flowers, like the ones above, are out and blooming.  It’s nice outside!

As I’ve talked about in past posts, I had a skin cancer scare a few month ago.  Since then, I’ve been vigilant about sunscreen, every day on all my exposed skin.  I’m doing my best to reduce my risks.

I want you to reduce your risks, too!  Here are my sun care tips for hoopers.  Most of these are common sense, and you may already know some of these, but here’s a reminder.

As hoopers, many of us are outside a lot. We attend outdoor hoop jams, go to festivals, and we practice outdoors, too. We are in the sun quite a bit. That’s a good thing, but we do need to take precautions in maintaining and taking care of our skin.

I know, for myself, I often overlook the use of sunscreen or other basic sunburn prevention measures. I am paying the price with some sun damage that has turned cancerous on my right shoulder. The damage is being removed, and I should be ok, but it’s scared me into taking betting care of my skin in the sun.

Sunlight isn’t all that bad, with its damaging ultraviolet (UV)rays. We do need it to live. Here are some benefits, according to Medical Daily:

1. We can sleep better when we get some sun exposure, as it regulates our sleep cycle by resetting your body’s clock.
2. Sunlight can increase serotonin levels in your body for a better mood.
3. Vitamin D is produced in your body from exposure to sunlight, which can actually help prevent cancers, and help in bone growth and strength.

Now, too much of a good thing, as we know, can be bad. For hoop jams and festivals, we are often outside most of the day. We sweat, as most of these events happen in warmer weather. We tend to wear weather appropriate to the weather, such as shorts and tank tops. A lot more skin is exposed!

Now, how can we protect and take care of our skin during hooping events? The easiest and most common sense answer is sunscreen. There are so many out there that are for many different skin types. There are sunscreens that are waterproof and sweat-proof. There are ones that are for sensitive skin. There are also a wide range of SPF’s, or Sun Protection Factors, out there. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a SPF of 15 or higher. Pick a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both types UV (ultraviolet) radiation: long wave UVA and shortwave UVB.

Other options for protecting your skin are to wear weather light cotton garments with long sleeves. I know those may get in the way of hooping, but a light tunic when you are not hooping might save you some sun damage.

Wearing a brimmed hat may get in the way of hooping, but wearing one while you are sitting in a workshop or hanging out at the hoop jam will provide protection for your head and face.

Wear sunglasses. Your eyes can get sunburned! Sunglasses shouldn’t get in the way of hooping too much. According to Heathline, you can get burned, stinging , and dried out eyes from sun damage.

Don’t forget your feet! Apply sunscreen to your feet, seriously, especially the bottoms. I know for myself, and many of your out there, I like to hoop barefoot. Feet aren’t usually exposed to the sun, so they can be more susceptible to burning.

Seek shade. Shady trees project you from the sun. If you are in an open area, such as the desert, bring an umbrella or parasol to block harmful rays. It’s especially important in sandy environments, such as the desert or the beach, to follow steps to beat sun damage because the sun’s rays can reflect off the sand. The same goes for snow, too!

Lastly, the worst time to be out in the sun is from 10am-2pm when the sun rays are at their strongest. I know that’s hard to do when you’re outside at a festival or are planning a hoop jam. Stay active during the early morning or evening hours. During this four hour window, though, take things easy and use the things above to protect yourself. Plan that hoop jam for the evening; everyone can play with their LED hoops when it gets dark!

I know, a lot of these things are easy to forget or get lost in the shuffle of a good time. Still, a few steps may save you some damage and reduce certain health risks. Hooping is fun and great to do outdoors, but a few simple things may make it a little safer for your skin and overall health.

 

Thank You!

Thank you all for your love and support in response to my last post about dealing with skin cancer.  I really do appreciate it!

I’ve also been dealing with a really bad cold, so I wasn’t able to write a post sooner.  I am getting better, but I still feel really rough.

I did get outside and hoop yesterday for a little.  It was a gorgeous day, and I was glad I was able to enjoy it.

I get my stitches out yesterday, and should know the latest pathology report on last week’s biopsy.  Fingers crossed!

Dealing with Skin Cancer

I know my  posts have been a little scant lately.  I really do have a good reason for it.

I’ve been dealing with basal cell carcinoma on my right arm.  That’s cancer.

I know there are a lot of worse cancers out there, and a lot worse situations, too.  People have huge battles with this disease.  Mine is more like a schoolyard scrap:  it hurts, it’s annoying, and it may happen again.

Still, it’s big deal to me.  I’ve gone through two procedures now to remove skin on my arm.  The first time was just to remove the lesion itself, and have it tested.  My doctor said the longer it takes to get my results, the better the news. I had my first procedure on a Monday.  I got my results on a Wednesday.  I was crestfallen.

Another appointment was immediately made to remove more skin on my arm.  I had the procedure done yesterday.  My doctor told me the ins and outs of basal cell carcinoma and told me that if the tests come back with cancer cells a second time, she’ll have to refer me to a surgeon.  Fingers crossed she got all it all.

If you look at that photo of me above, I’m fair skinned with red hair and green eyes.  I’m a sitting duck, primed for skin cancer.  I need to start taking better care of myself in the sun, and I’ve started a skin care regimen that includes a lot of heavy duty sunscreen.

Funny thing?  I’m still hooping through this!  Yes!  My doctor said I don’t have any restrictions, except not to really scrub the stitches.  I think I can handle that.

I’m glad I’m still able to hoop through this, because I’m depressed over this.  I haven’t been sleeping very well, and have been dragging a lot more than usual lately.  And, having bipolar disorder on top of all this, life changing emotional events usually hit me a little harder.

Ok, now for my personal plea to all hoopers out there.  We are in the sun a lot, whether outside at a hoop jam or on the playa,  FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS PRECIOUS IN THIS WORLD, WEAR SUNSCREEN!!!!!!  Seriously, you need to.  And this basically goes for everyone out there reading this.  I’ll even recommend you some brands that are approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation.  Or just head over there yourself to learn more about skin cancer.

I will get through this.  I’ve  got the love and support of my husband, family, and friends, and I thank them.  We can do this.