My mom always used to ask me… “Are you wearing plenty of sunscreen, Dear?”. “Yes, Mom. Every day, Mom.”. Now Clark and I say the same thing to each other before we go out shelling for the day. But nowadays we also ask “Did you pack the sun screen to reapply later?”. Omigosh, if you have freckle-faces like Clark and me, you need to slather, slather, slather that sun screen. We have to because we love the sun! Sunshine makes me happy.
When I was younger, I was told “A face without freckles is like a night without stars”. So really, how could anybody ever hate freckles after hearing that? But having freckles means we have fair skin so we try to avoid too much sun so we try to wear big hats and big sunglasses to hide our fair skinned bodies. But it’s not just us, all shellers need to wear sunscreen just like bikers need to wear a helmet and we need to wear a seat belt while in a car. Clark is always so good at covering up his arms with long sleeves. But….Errrr… I’m still not there yet. I know, I know! As Charlotte commented the other day “being SUN~SMART shouldn’t always look like you’re about to go sport fishing and land a large tarpon !!” LOL I’m with you Charlotte!
We can’t forget to protect our lips too. Check to make sure your lip balm has a SPF 15 or higher as well. Oh yeah, then there’s the feet. I know it feels so good to get your toes in the sand but when there are piles of shells on the beach to look through, who wants to have to think about feet? I want to focus on the shells! There are sharp shells in our waters, so we protect our feet from getting cut up by wearing flip flops or water shoes.
Always take precautions when you are engaged in any sport. Yes! Shelling is a sport so stay safe. I’m going to stay out of the sun for a few weeks to do a precautionary skin treatment. Really, it’s no big deal. But I need your help!
First of all, wear sunscreen when you are outside.
Second, if you are in the area I’d love updates (here or facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus) of how the shelling is going so I can pass it along to everyone.
No worries yall. I have many photos and videos that I never had the time to show you so this will be the perfect time for that. Super Sheller Clark will also still be reporting in so I can share with you changing shelling locations he finds. But already, I can’t wait to get back on the beach to show you my favorite things to do on the beach…. like meeting awesome people like Eric and Shannon from Atlanta…
And fun families like Brock, Branden, Carson, Peyton, Arlen and Kelly from Iowa. This is why i Love Shelling!
I am a blue eyed blonde that has had 5 malignant skin cancers removed and the dermatologist says I will have more- – please use sun screen!!!
Oh Grand Leader, take care of yourself! Sis and I are collecting protection for Shellabaloo. Hats, sunscreen, etc. It has been many years since I was on the island in August, but I remember, and am trying to be prepared (like a good Girl Scout).
Pam.. such timely advice… My daughter just had a beach wedding 2 weeks ago. I was only a short time on the beach each time… 45 mins on late Friday afternoon around 4 pm for rehearsal, an hour or so under shade mostly on Sat, then a little over an hour on Sun at the wedding.. was a little pink but wasn’t feeling it and only used a little sunscreen as it was around 4 pm for each activity. then Monday needed to run to the bridal suite with the grandkids and drop off something to the couple they forgot. So took advantage and spent 2 hours with the kids, in the water, around 3 pm.. never sat once and even used zinc 35% sunscreen, as ugly white as it is, since I felt a little tinge of sunburn coming on.. again it was afternoon. Unfortunately, for first time in my life happening seaside, the rays are so strong this year, that this little amount of time, without re-doing the sunscreen.. even late in the day, and for short periods, caused 2nd and close to 3rd degree burns!! Had to go to hospital. Also diagnosed with sun-poisoning and ran temp for several days..along with flu like symptoms from the sun-poisoning. Still battling it and have been on prednizone, antibiotics with silver for the burns, and pain stuff. After almost 2 wks I am still in 24?7 pain with a couple of the places that burned on my legs and may have to go back to hospital tomorrow if it doesn’t detensify. So friends of Pam and the beach, take extra caution this year.. I LOVE the seaside and shelling.. but please go above and beyond with extra care even if it is not the hottest time of the suns rays. I have been in 2 weeks of solid pain with little sleep and you can imagine how much skin I have lost already with the 2nd degree burns. AM praying we can get the worst ones cleared up and the skin healed soon.. Better to be safe… great idea Pam for everyone to share little videos. You are awesome for keeping us all seaside , no matter what! Cathy B
My goodness I can feel your pain, I am a true Red Head with blue eyes and plenty of freckles and have had many serious burns over the years and lots of pain, but nothing like yours. Have learned over the years to use sunblock and thank goodness for sunscreen for my lips or I would be unkissable.
So hope you are feeling better soon and never live the house without putting it on.
Cathy B, Oh My! you poor baby! Please take good care of yourself and hoping you recover soon.
Thank you Sherene and Pam! Have an appointment with the Wound center here in South FL on Wednesday, as one leg not healing much at all.. most of my body is healing but one leg seems to have burned thru… pain feels like it is all the way to the bone, but fever is gone. And boy is it ever ugly!! Wear extra sunblock folks! Never in a million years would I have thought this would have happened to me! Praying this gets healed soon, as really want to head over your side of our lovely state to do some gulf shelling! Take care!
Great advice Pam! Hope all goes well, prayers :)
Tom even uses sunscreen now after getting a major burn while snorkling on our Honeymoon. The only place on his back not burned was the place I had put my hand on him with sunscreen on it.
He now asks for Sunscreen.
Love your Red Head, Blue eyed sheller.
Good for him! It’s just like anything, once you get “burned”- you learn from it and take precautions next time. Live and learn! But FYI- Ive always used lots of sunscreen
Pam my generation never had sunscreen, they actually put oil on and guess what happen, plenty of pain and trouble later in life. Take care.
1977 – Hawaii – baby oil – five hours on the beach without a tan base – severe burns – friend has sun poisoning – no sleep from the burn pain. What did the geniuses do? We went back to the beach the next day to add another layer of burns. Knuckleheads! Got a few blistering burns in later years and I’m just waiting for the bad news one of these days. I finally wised up, but still like to get some color (tan, not red!) when in Sanibel…
Pam, hope all goes well for you!
OMG Sanibelle- Same exact story but probably 1980 in Nags Head North Carolina. I woke up the next day and couldnt move my lips to talk. Geez. What were we thinking? Yes! Knuckleheads! Seriously, Im fine- this is just precautionary- but I would bet that was the day I did lifelong damage.
I know it will be hard for you to stay off the beach, but we want you to get better. When I go out shelling I do not look very glamorous. I usually wear an old long sleeve blouse and socks with my crocs. It seems like the lotion I use atracts the no see ums-even with the no see um spray I bought. Do you know of a good lotion that is no see um proof? If you do design some clothes with long sleeves-could one be light weight and another heaver in several sizes? To keep you busy indoors, have you finished cleaning the shells you found in Cuba? Get well. Pat
Pam hope all goes well with your treatment! Was hoping to see you on the beach one more time before I left the island….I guess ill see you next July for the Cayo Costa trip ! Take care and thanks for all the tips…I always wear my hat and sunglasses and try to stay covered for most of the time I’m on the beach!
Will be looking forward to the videos and you returning with with all your great posts!
As a fellow freckled-face, I love the reference to stars analogy. I’d also add that regularly scheduled trips to the dermatologist are a smart idea, Also, when the shelling isn’t fast n furious, I picked the little shells and strung them to my big floppy hat – once a Sheller, always a Sheller!
Along with sunscreen, you should also try SPF 50 clothing and swimwear. Coolibar carries both. Even Landsend has swim shirts that protect at SPF 50. Enjoy the sun, but stay safe.
Thanks for the reminder and advise. :-)
Are you having the “Blue light special” at the dermatologist? This works great and does the whole face treatment evenly. I’ve had five melanomas in the last two years. They didn’t have sun screen when I was a kid. Besides being an avid sheller, I was also a lifeguard…………so I really apply the lotion now!!! Also it’s lots of fun to shell at night with that 90 lumen head flashlight on. It’s easy to see shells and you see lots of interesting other things…. All the best. Sue Bunkin
Great advice Pam….
Reading all the “battle stories” are a reminder to us Florida “natives” that due diligence pays off, ten fold. Pam, I wish you well in the time away from the shells. I’m a brown haired green eyed irish lass, I don’t tan! I always have sunscreen in my car in with my “to go shelling supplies”. :-). Slather up, y’all and be sun smart !
You have the BEST BLOG…site on the internet!! I love your creativity and animated messages. First of all, you are so right about the sunscreen….I have noticed that not a week goes by that I don’t see someone here in SW FL with a face bandage….the tell tale sign they have been to the dermatologist for a biopsy.
Where did you find your hat? Adorable with the feather and it has the necessary string to keep it on your head on breezy days. Also, looks like Clark is sporting new shelling shoes! I’m always experimenting with shoes to find something that doesn’t fill with shells and sand or break as you tread and tread through water.
Gosh – thanks yall!… but alls good. I got that really big hat at Home Depot or Lowes- one of the 2. LOL its a great hat they sell in the lawn and plant area. I got the other hat at Target- they have some other cute ones too! I actually have 1 more day before I have to stay completely out of the sun so I think I will cover up and hit the -.3 tide tonight when the sun is low. Woop!
Hey Pam, such a great reminder!! That’s why I wear a “skin”, a thin black dive skin that offers 50spf it has long sleeves and legs and not very attractive, but I save my own skin by wearing it! I hope all is well with you and there are no health problems!
Does anyone have a good idea for protecting the feet when you are a diabetic with thin skin? Went to Sanibel and wore water shoes with and without socks and still rubbed small sores around the tops of the shoes and on toes. Very frustrating when you like to go shelling.
Jan, Try scuba booties. They come up over the ankles and work great. I love mine and there isn’t any rubbing on your feet. Good luck.
I am sorry that you can’t go out in the sun for a while Pam; I hope the time goes by fast for you.
When I go shelling in the tropics, I wear a very thin long-sleeved linen shirt underneath and an oversized man’s thin cotton dress shirt over the top of it, and linen long pants. I also often wear those disposable cotton gloves they sell for crafts, and I cut half the length of the fingers off the gloves so I can pick up tiny shells OK and yet still have the back of my hands protected.
I wear women’s Speedo water shoes, which fit me well and are quite snug and reasonably soft, but I sometimes also wear thin men’s cotton dress socks so that the sun does not burn my ankles while I am crawling along on my hands and knees for hours.
As for a hat, I have a good sturdy wide-brimmed one from Hammacher Schlemmer. It has mesh around the sides of the crown, so it’s lets the breeze through. It is durable and you can throw it in the washing machine and air-dry it, and that is very convenient too.
Susan what great ideas! especially about the gloves.. having to wear extra protective clothing and gear is a pain and doesn’t look too cool, but the way you have described it, sounds like it isn’t that bad of a fashion statement either!.. (Love that Pam’s fave hats are from both target and Lowes/Home Depot! )… I had forgotten to mention that for the first time also, the tops of both my hands also burned!! I was shocked.. It literally had never happened and over the years I have spent tons of time on the beach. Luckily the hand ones were only 1st degree burns…probably due to the fact that I used them to slather on the first rounds of sunscreen I had used. Sometimes when the weather is perfect so you are not feeling the heat, and there are those beautiful FL palm breezes, we natives forget we still need to take as much caution… would be nice to find a pair of linen type gloves without the fingertips… hmm… creative design processes starting!… What is so awesome to see, is that none of us, from Clark and Pam on down, let anything deter us from our love and appreciation of the sea!
Cathy B, I hear ya’… in HAWAII my hands burned for the first time…. our protective ozone layer is thinning, allowing lots more UVA & UVB rays to burn our skin… Protective clothing… socks and gloves…. gads!!
Glamourous,no but the gnarly scars on my shins and ankles from sun cancer surgeries remind me that SUN SANITY trumps
BEACH VANITY !! On a lighter note, when the sales girls at cosmetic counters offer products to lighten “liver spots” on my hands, I tell them,
“No thanks, those are my small tans and I enjoyed the beach getting every one of them:)”
All the best to you.
Whatever it takes….do it. I’ve had 2nd degree burns on a TX lake just 3 months after getting married, came home to a non-AC’d apartment, and my sweet mother had come over and baked bread for us in the oven! In July, it must have been 110 in that house. It took a week taking turns in tubs of cold water, changing the sheets where the liquid came through, and changing fuses from where the (finally) rented “swamp cooler” (only thing we could find to rent) kept knocking out the power. Yep, still got the big freckles to prove it. Good luck to you, Pam – glad you are one wise lady.
Good luck with the treatment Pam and thanks for the useful advice. Being from the UK I need to be reminded just how strong the sun can be in Florida. Am preparing for my visit to Sanibel in November by keeping up with your posts :-)
Pay close attention to the medications you take….I didn’t used to burn but now will if I don’t wear 50 plus….In the 70’s we would tan with baby oil….Yikes!
UPDATE: Thanks for all of your well wishes! I am on day 11 of the skin treatment (fluoroplex 1%) on my face and chest. I’m doing really well- it’s not too terrible just red blotchy areas and a little itchy. This treatment kills the damaged skin (from being a silly teenager using baby oil to tan) so I’ll have fresh new skin (haha) when I finish. Still no sun for me for another week or so but I’m enjoying the time home during the days with my kitties helping me organizing my photos and shells. I’ll keep the fun new posts coming!