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sunscreen & diving

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by jallen013, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. jallen013

    jallen013 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Dallas, TX, USA
    I try to be sun smart while on the dive boat but, I have always avoided using any kind of sunscreen on my face because I don't want to deal with stinging eyes while under water. Consequently, I most always end up with a sunburn.

    Anyone know of a sunblock that is diver friendly and truly won't sting when it gets in your eyes?
  2. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States
    Much better option : Sunday Afternoons - Sun Protective Hats and Clothing

    Sunscreen itself is toxic to your skin, and more likely to cause cancer than the sun is.....Cancer Prevention: Top 10 Tips
  3. ccx2

    ccx2 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: usa virginia
    hey jallen,ive used lots of differant sunscreens and all of them will burn me eyes , but, No Add brand sunscreen seems to work the best and doesn't burn my eyes like or as bad as most. i wear a big shading brim hat with sunscreen on my nose and cheeks, aint pretty but it does the job.
  4. NetDoc

    NetDoc power-mad satrap of a Scuba Board Moderator

  5. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    I've got several family members with skin cancer, and the doctors are pretty adamant that sunblock with a minimum SPF30 should be used pretty much anytime you're outdoors. Maybe if you live really far north, vitamin D levels would be a concern. Here in the tropical regions of the world skin cancer from sunburns is a huge risk. The risk of skin cancer is real, and cancer is an unpleasant way to go out.

    Here's an article from the skin cancer foundation on the subject. ASK THE EXPERT: Does sunscreen cause cancer? - SkinCancer.org

    I use the spray on "clear" sunblock when diving, I apply it as best I can to areas that won't be inside the mask. Also apply it before you get on the boat. It'll have ample time to dry and minimize the risk to your eyes. On my most recent keys trip, I got sunscreen in my mask by mistake. It sucked, and lead to one of my dives not being as great as it would have been. Still, I prefer the risk of having a subpar dive to that of getting skin cancer.

    I usually prefer not to be as "black and white" on things, but I've got a personal interest. It is what it is as they say.
  6. danvolker

    danvolker Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Lake Worth, Florida, United States

    Skin Cancer, in Brief
    Before we discuss melanoma, you need a basic understanding of the three most common types of skin cancer, each named for the type of cells affected:

    1. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): Begins in the basal cell layer of the skin, typically on the face; the most common form of skin cancer and the most common type of cancer in humans; least likely skin cancer to spread.[SUP]7[/SUP]
    2. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): Begins in the squamous cells, typically on the face, neck, ears, lips, and backs of hands; tends to grow and spread a bit more than BCC.
    3. Melanoma: Begins in the melanocytes (the cells that produce the pigment melanin, responsible for your tan); melanin protects the deeper layers of your skin from excess radiation. Melanoma is more likely than other types of skin cancer to spread to other parts of your body and causes more deaths than any other type of skin cancer.[SUP]8[/SUP]
    Don’t Fall for the Melanoma Myth
    If you believe the lure of the sun is equivalent to the siren’s call for melanoma, you’ll be relieved to learn melanoma is not actually caused by sun exposure, unlike the other two types of skin cancer, BCC and SCC. Although the reported number of new cases of melanoma in the US has been reportedly increasing for more than 30 years,[SUP]9[/SUP] a landmark study in the British Journal of Dermatology[SUP]10[/SUP] suggests this apparent increase is a result of non-cancerous lesions being misclassified as “stage 1 melanoma.” In other words, people are being diagnosed with melanoma even when they have only a minimal, non-cancerous lesion, and these diagnoses are significantly skewing cancer statistics.[SUP]11[/SUP] The sun is nothing more than a scapegoat in this phenomenon of “increased melanoma.”

    From Sunshine Helps Protect Your Health | Vitamin D Benefits

    Cancer is a trillion dollar industry.....the money being made by bogus testing and surgical procedures that should not have been performed, is criminal. It is just another example of a system that has created a method of screening that looks for long term profitable treatments, and the concept of finding cures is alien. The drug world wants lifetime addicts....
  7. NetDoc

    NetDoc power-mad satrap of a Scuba Board Moderator

    Interesting read, Dan. Personally, I hate sunburned ears and want to avoid them, so I wear a hat. :D
    danvolker likes this.
  8. JahJahwarrior

    JahJahwarrior Solo Diver Staff Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: West Palm Beach, Fl
    Solrx claims to not harm the reef, and it doesn't seem to sting my eyes. Neutrogena and bullfrog face sunscreens also seem to be sting free but no claims on the tube about reef safety.

    I'm a big fan of hats and shade but on the deck of a dive boat a hat is not enough due to reflection. One blistered face is all it took for me to start using sunblock on my face. I hope to see more reef friendly, non greasy, effective sunscreens in the future.
  9. g1138

    g1138 Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Charleston, SC
    Use a non-chemical sunscreen that uses zinc or hard minerals to block the UV. These generally don't run when wet, however they turn your face pasty white and leave a residue on the mask, which comes off easy with a little water and finger rubbing.

    Neutrogena Ultra Sheer is one such brand.
  10. Krazyklaws

    Krazyklaws Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: London, UK
    We always use P20. It's one of those 'once a day' lotions, you put it in, let it dry and its waterproof. They've also just started making a P50 (factor 50) but I haven't seen it yet.

    My partner is very fair and burns in seconds, so he always carries a Buff too. More practical than a hat on a dive boat.

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