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The Occasional Fisherman: Days not worrying about sun are over
Ernie Mitchell
Ernie Mitchell writes about fishing for the Bryan County News

Fall has arrived. No more hot sun beating on your face. No more sun lotion on your face. Wrong!

Water is a strong reflector of the sun’s rays, and its effects are damaging, no matter what the air temperature is.

I verified my plain ole fisherman’s thoughts with, Karen Penrose Of Georgia Skin and Cancer Clinic. She referred me to website for the American Academy of Dermatology.

It is written in plain layman’s terms. That is where I obtained the more intelligent information in this column, Seems like as a young man, I never cared about sun burns. Now, as a white haired old guy, I’m paying for it. After having several sun damaged spots frozen, then after suffering through a six week Emulex treatment my thoughts changed. Emulex is a cream that will chemically burn away any sun damaged tissue, mainly from your face. I recommend it to the DOD to use it for interrogating terrorists. Of course, some bleeding heart lib would object as inhumane.

I feel it’s my duty to warn all, but especially, youthful fishermen. Skin damage can occur at a very early age. So consider all the recommendations beginning with young children.

The good news is, I’ve seen men are learning. Yes, us tough guys are realizing cancer is tougher. On television shows many young bass anglers, and inshore saltwater fishermen and guides, have adopted skin protective gear. My personal list:

1.Face shield: Inexpexpensive, SPF40, UVA/ UVB, thin material.

2. Broad Brim hats.

3. Thin long sleeve shirts, if possible UVA/UVB protected, or the new sun sleeves.

4. Good wrap around polarized, UVA/UVB sunglasses.

5. Gloves: now have specific fishing gloves.

6. Sunscreen, 30 or more SPF, now in a stick dispenser, no mess on you fingers keeps it off your line.

 Below is information from the dermatologists:

1. Choose sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays.

2. Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.

3. Use enough sunscreen. Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen, about enough to fill a shot glass or the amount you can hold in your palm, to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. Rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin.

4. Apply sunscreen to all bare skin. Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs. For hard‐to‐ reach areas like your back, ask someone to help you or use a spray sunscreen. If you have thinning hair, either apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a wide‐brimmed hat. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15.

5. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating.

6. Stop using bar soap. Replace it with a gentle, creamy, fragrance-free cleanser or emollient.

7. Use warm (not hot) water. Hot water strips skin of its natural oils, which can increase skin dryness.

8. Use a soft cloth to wash your skin. A buff puff or bath brush can irritate your skin.

9. Keep your bath or shower short. You may find that you don’t need to bathe every day. When you bathe, keep it short. Take a 10-minute bath or shower.

10. Pat water gently from your skin after bathing, but leave a bit of water on your skin. Having some water on your skin when you apply moisturizer (next step) helps hydrate your skin.

Websites to check:;;; Skincancer.org

Please get regular dermatologist check-ups.

Email Ernie at

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