how careful in the sun?

Hi. I’m now a year after rads and still apprehensive about exposure to the sun. Anyone been given any good advice on this? Do we always now have to avoid being in the sun even with a high factor cream? Or is it ok to spend houirs in the sun with skin exposed as long as we have a high factor cream on?

Hi Again! Just bumping this up to see if anyone has any advice?

Hi ladies,

Here’s the link to what the nursing team suggested when we had the last hot spell.

Hope this helps. Kind regards,
Jo, Facilitator

Thanks for that Jo, really helpful.

Dear all,

My general advice is to be sensible. Cover up. Have lunch indoors or under shade. Replenish high factor sun cream during day and put plenty on. But don’t be completely paranoid; sunshine is meant to be enjoyed.

I enjoy watersports and on holidays since BC have put suncream to the ultimate test: all-day snorkelling off the coast of Tobago (7 degrees north of the equator) and Kenya (actually on the equator). I recommend a suncream used by surfers. It is called ‘Lemonoil’ Carrot Sun Milk, is manufactured in Spain and can be obtained on the web. Using this suncream sensibly, despite being in and out of the water all day in the tropics, non of my family got sunburned, not even my freckly daughter.

Lemonoil does what it says on the bottle. Factor 15 actually means factor 15. Factor 20 actually means factor 20. Water resistant actually means water resistant. Other advantages are that it is pleasant to apply [it doesn’t feel like frying pan oil] and it does absolute wonders for moisturising skin. It is also cheaper than many other suncreams.

My only criticism is that parts of the Lemonoil website are orientated towards sun worshippers and tanning. Ignore this and go for higher protection. The kids sprays and the milks are good. There is even a suncream for those who need to protect their tattoos from fading!

Best wishes,


Smiler,I’ve just returned from Florida.Finished chemo in Nov and rads in Jan.I got slightly burnt on my 1st day.Temp was 95C.I used aloe vera leaves to soothe the burnt area(on my chest)I used Factor 30 and stayed in the shade and still managed to get a nice tan.I think we just have to be careful.

Just to feed back from Supersue’s comments (and Sue, thanks for them!) - I am a golfer and have just spent two weeks out in the Med in 80 degree temperatures, out for 5 to 6 hours at a time in the hottest part of the day. I read Supersue’s post not long before I went and ordered some Lemonoil suncream. I got a factor 60 for me and in general only put it on once a day. I never even got that slight hot, pinkness usual after a day in the sun however I did come home with a nice tan. You’re right Sue - it does what it says on the bottle!
The reason to avoid sunburn is to avoid infection leading to lymphodoema. I managed that but I have hit another problem. Prior to chemo I was never bothered by mosquitos - I got one bite, obviously didn’t taste good and was left alone for the remainder of holiday. The past two times I have been away I have been eaten alive! I get swelling in the affected limb and a blister the size of a pingpong ball ove the bite - this despite spraying with DEET. Any tips on how to keep the bugs at bay? (am more concerned about picking up an infection this way.)


Hi Joe I am always bitten very badly when abroad but I was advised to use Citronella oil before going out.I got mine in Holland &barrett.just mix with water and I carry a small spray bottle with me when out a just spray over exposerd areas regularily.Hope this is of help. Good luck Joyce.

Hi Joyce,
I’m very interested in your post, as I have just returned from Mallorca covered in bites, despite using the proprietery insect repellents.
I’m going to try the citronella when I go to Turkey at the end of the month - how much water do you dilute the citronella with?
Many thanks

Hi Doxey just read the box and does not say but I put about 5 or 6 drops in a small spray bottle and fill with water.I think its trial and error to suit yourself.Good luck hope that helps.Joyce

Thanks so much Joyce - I’ll give it a try x

Joyce, thanks for that - I’ll try it next time I’m away (although I don’t know when I’ll see the sun again yet!).