Monday, April 21, 2008


One of the genetic gifts I inherited from my Gaelic mother is red hair, light green eyes, and pale skin.

Now, when I say "light green eyes and pale skin" I don't think the average Gentle Reader quite understands the depth of the situation, so to speak.

Allow me to expound: When kiddie vampires start whinging about not being able to walk about during the day, daddy vampires point at me and say, "Hey, it could be worse -- you could be that guy."


If that wasn't bad enough, my doctor has me on Ramipril to control my blood pressure (hah!).

Guess what one of the possible side effects of Ramipril is? Quote -- "Ramipril may cause you to become sunburned more easily" -- unquote.

That, Dear Readers, is the bloody understatement of the decade.

Despite liberal application of 30SPF sunblock -- and the tactical use of thick overhead and side tree cover -- I'm burning to a crisp in twenty minutes or less.


The crappie have started spawning in the local lakes. Bass and catfish aren't too far behind, methinks.


I may have to upgrade to 40SPF sunblock under a 40UPF long-sleeved fishing shirt. Bloody damned hot in North Texas, but might be worth the thirty gallons of sweat per hour. Or maybe I can just start slathering on a nice thick coat of latex house paint.

Damn sun. Damn hobbies. Damn genetics.




Diane said...

red hair, light green eyes...

Maybe we should find you some *indoor* hobbies.

Anonymous said...

I've been cursed with the same red hair and whiter than white skin as well. I don't, however, have to take medication that increases my burn factor. But, when I was working in New Mexico/Arizona as a distribution line design engineer, I started using 50 SPF sunscreen. I never leave the house without it on a sunny day!

Anonymous said...

I sympathize. I'm not supposed to go outside after sunrise without sunscreen, long sleeves, long trousers and a hat. At one point I held the All Iowa 0 to Lobster sunburning speed record.


Red said...

I burn to a crisp rapidly as well - in Canadian sunlight, which is a lot less direct. Walking to campus and back twice one day last week resulted in a sunburn - and it's only 15 minutes each way.

Texas would probably kill me.

Anonymous said...

Track down some Ocean Potion Sport Xtreme SPF 50. I've been burnt like toaster crumbs and it allowed me to stay out in the sun without so much as a mildly prickly feeling. It's the only one I've tried that could pull that off.

Anonymous said...

you might have to go straight to the ol' zinc oxide... nothing'll get past that.. :)

Merripan said...

Yeah... I, too, have been "gifted" as being a card-carrying member of the lily-white butt clan. I end up having to use the coppertone water-babies 50 SPF to go out into the sun at all...

Anonymous said...

You need a coolie to follow you around with a large umbrella.

More iced tea saheeb?

Tim Covington said...

I am married to a redhead.
1. SPF 50 at the minimum.
2. Cabelas makes a collapsible chair that can double as a ground blind. I heartily suggest this.

Anonymous said...

May be hot with the long sleeve shirt on but that is why the good Lord created beer.

Anonymous said...

As somebody with skin texture of Mediterranean stock I would urge you to take your condition seriously. I thought I was immune to the maladies of the sun with my dark toned skin until I was diagnosed with melanoma some 4 years ago. It was diagnosed with plenty time, treated and so far everything looks good but I avoid sun as much as possible which can be quite a challenge in south Florida.

Anonymous said...

Give neutrogena sunscreen a try. I despise sunscreen but I put the neutrogena sunscreen on when I'm working outside. Its not greasy and prevents even my pale skin from burning.

Anonymous said...

Hats, LawDog, hats. Big ones.

OK, maybe a light-reflective burka?

Ladybug Crossing said...

Have you considered zinc oxide? That's the only thing that saved my nose when I was a lifeguard.

There is also a spray sunscreen - It comes in a blue can SPF 30 Sport. It goes on great, you don't have to rub it in and it works - really well.


TattoedIntellectual said...

I'll second the zinc-oxide suggestion. I'm allergic to regular sunscreens so the ZO stuff is all I can use. Plus have issues w/ sun poisoning. Bleh! But it works well, as long as you get everything covered.

The stuff I have now I got in Aus, but Burt's Bees makes some pretty decent stuff. It generally isn't water/sweat proof so needs to be re-applied liberally.

Anonymous said...

SPF 30? SPF 40? Heck, LD, I go for the max I can find. Which was 50 the last time I checked. In Oregon, no less! On the wet side.

My eyes aren't green, they're blue, and they tell me my hair has my mother's auburn tone to it (beat's me - I'm partially red/green color blind). But I couldn't tan if my life depended on it. And after one bout so far with skin cancer, you can bet I'm wearing the max when I bother to go out under old yeller.


Anonymous said...

Ocean Potion makes this little bottle of sun block they call a Dab-On Spot Stick. It's mostly intended for use on the face, but it works very nicely for anywhere...the bottle is just a wee bit small is the only problem with it. Goes on like roll-on deodorant, it's water and sweat resistant, dries in under 5 seconds, isn't greasy and it's SPF *60*. I know exactly what Lawdog is going through, I have much the same problem *without* the drug he's on. And this stuff kept me from turning even the least bit pink over an entire week in San Diego, during a heatwave, doing the tourist thing. One little bottle lasted me for five days.

Anonymous said...

'Dawg, you could always see if your department will approve a natty Resistol sombrero for you?

I mean, how much more could you cornfuzle 'em? Pale skinned African American sporting that oh-so-spiffy South of the Border chapeau?

Add to it a blazing red FuManchu moustache, and you'd have 'em dazed and dismayed the moment you step outta your cruiser.

Viva la....somethingorother?!

Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

rwc said...

Try the new 50 SPF that comes in a spray can. We bought some to cover our kidlet who has a similar skin tone. It worked great, and it dosn't have the same greasy feel that every other sunscreen seems to have.

rwc on THR

Banshee said...

Ooh, ooh! Mexican poncho! You can be the Fisherman with No Name!

X_LA_Native said...

Oh...I get it, I'm one of the red-haired/green-eyed Pink People myself. My freckles conspired to make me "look" tan by the end of summer.

Best stuff for the face that I know is BullFrog. Zinc Oxide comes in cool colors now too, doesn't it?

Anyone remember that horrid and think NoseKote?

HokiePundit said...

Under Armour and Nike make long-sleeved compression shirts that not only keep you cool but presumably also block out UV rays. They're moisture-wicking and therefore getting them wet shouldn't make them much heavier, as would cotton or wool.

Evil Transport Lady said...

My BP meds do the same....I'm already starting to have the "drivers tan" and I haven't had my windows down yet!

Jenna said...

I feel your pain.

As the result of Irish, Welsh, and Scottish ancestory (somewhere in there we managed to find a couple of Rom during the 1st & 2nd world war to drag into the family. Their inclusion is the only reason I can call myself fair and not actively CLEAR) I'm a bit of a fair skinned lass myself.

Luckily I don't really burn - I bleach like a skull in the desert sun.

Three options that may help a tiny bit. There are several light weight long sleeve shirt options out there that have built in SPF. Not enough to make it on that alone, but they do help bump up the protection. Also, you can always give what my cousins (lily butts all) do. Buy yourself 1-3 minute increments at the local tanning parlor for the next few months. Somehow it seems to set a base line for their bodies and helps keep them from burning.

Lastly? Ever tried night fishing? Your "dorklight" would be a help.

Jeff the Baptist said...

I feel your pain. I don't bother to buy anything lower than SPF 45.

As for the spray on stuff. True, it avoids the greasy feeling of lotions. It's sticky like you're covered in hair spray instead. I prefer the greasy feeling myself.

Rorschach said...

Two Words 'dawg

Vitamin D

Not only will it help with sunburns, it might just protect you from cancer too.

Christina RN LMT said...

Ditto what RWC said. It's Neutrogena "Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock" SPF 70 (!). That stuff totally kicks ass, and you CAN spray it directly on your face [the can tells you to spray it on your hands to apply to the face (which would defeat the purpose of the spray, i.e. not getting your hands mucky), but that's because the manufacturer is worried about morons spraying it into their eyes].

I'm very pale, but thanks to having married someone just as pale as I, our kids are truly ghost-like. They were teased regularly by other kids asking whether they were vampires, or dead, or zombies, etc.

Anonymous said...


My nephew is exactly the same way and he's only 8. When he was a baby, he had fire engine red hair and he always had to have a hat on when he was outside. One time, his father put his cap on him because they had nothing else. The hair has toned down to a strawberry blonde but he's got the freckles and my sister uses...I think...Coppertone SPF 35? Comes in a blue bottle.

You also might want to try Bullfrog but I don't remember if that's just bug spray or not.


Anonymous said...

I'll chime in with everyone else: SPF 50, AT A MINIMUM. I don't have the red hair, but I do have the green eyes, and judging by my complexion I can blame some group of Nordic ancestors that saw the sun for ten minutes once a year. (Their descendants really should have better thought through resettling in the Gulf Coast and Arizona.) I've experienced several ordeals where I applied "normal" sunscreen diligently and still had to shed my entire crisped top layer of skin a week later.

I can't get most of the products mentioned here- lousy mountain stores have the selection of a Soviet-era Moscow department store- but I'll second the recommendation for Bullfrog products; when I can actually lay my hands on it, it's the champ at managing to stick to my skin even when I'm marinating in 100% humidity without making me feel like I'm wearing clown makeup.

MauserMedic said...

Skip the sunblock; I'm in Egypt, I'll pick you up a nice cotton man-dress and kaffiyah. Trust me, you'll really stand out in Texas.

Matt G said...

I know a local deputy constable who drew all of his uniform shirts in long sleeved style, because he has a similar condition, but also breaks out in a freakin' rash in the direct sun. He wears his hat at all time out of doors, and his sleeves are over-long and buttoned. I will say that the man looks impeccable whenever I see him. I guess he wears SPF [black paint] on his hands; I've never asked.

I love the Coppertone Sport SPF 30 because it comes in a sprayable, but I've got to say, I'm moving toward 45s for my direct sun needs.

Assrot said...

Well goddam doofus. Haven't you ever heard of a hunting blind? You could set one of them up on the bank and fish from within. Here's a place to pick one up.


P.S.- Yes, it might look a little goofy fishing from under a hunting blind but when they see what a strawberry you are they'll understand.

Anonymous said...

as a fellow suffer of the celtic curse (though my eyes are hazel green and the auburn is starting to silver a bit) - HATS, Big @$$ hats, not those little gimmie's. Hats that need their own zip code.

They help - some.

perlhaqr said...

I second Christina. I'm of similar stock, and I live in New Mexico, and the wife tends to get a bit cranky when I weld inside, so I spend a fair bit of time outside.

I love that 70 SPF spraycan stuff. I could do without the taste of hairspray afterwards, but I guess nothing's perfect.

Anonymous said...

Check out the Under Armor heatgear line. I've got a shirt from the line and it's amazingly cool on 100+ degree days and has spf 30

Anonymous said...

An umbrella? Not just for rain anymore.

Arcadia Iris said...

Being of mostly Irish and German ancestry, I start to sunburn if I just think about going out in the Texas sun. My husband, on the other hand, is an imported Yankee (New Jersey) of Puerto Rican descent. Our heat is about to kill him, but his skin just gets darker and darker. We each got a light sunburn on the back of our necks Sunday. Mine still stings and is still pinkish. He woke up Monday morning looking like someone had just come along and painted wood varnish across the back of his neck. I nearly cried.

Unknown said...

Try clothing that has UV protection.
The hoodie is super lightwight and lets a lot of air in so it works well for me in Arizona.

Anonymous said...

Dog's dash of Cherokee just ain't doing the job. I guess the Jincy of the Paint Clan ain't doing very well at overcoming Katerina of the Isles.
It might be a clue that the Dog's DNA comes out something like 93% pre-Celtic, you think?

Anonymous said...

Could trade in for red eyes and light green hair.

I like the latex idea. Straight latex and nothing else. Then you'll always be ready in case a Key West style Fantasy Fest breaks out there in TX. Might even keep the mosquitos off.

Can't sympathize with the sunburn issue though. My parents often mistook me for a child of African descent toward the end of summer. :) My melatonin (sic) must be wearing out though. I do tend to burn a little more easily nowadays.

Nancy said...

Red hair--- check
blue green eyes---check
skin so fair that it doesn't even freckle---double check
medications that encourage sunburn--checkdamnit!

Big hats, long sleeves, as high an spf as you can find.

Good luck!

kateykakes said...

I have green eyes an an olive complexion and tan very easily, but I avoid the sun like the plague. While everyone else is a nice, golden brown, I look lily white compared to them.

I'd rather forget about a tan and think I'm doing the right thing. I worry about skin cancer and a tan just isn't worth it to me.

Anonymous said...

If its any comfort I can get sunburnt under incandescent light...