Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

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Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby Nymue » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:19 am

Hi all. I'm popping my Burning Man cherry this year, and while I'm of course stressing about what to pack, what to wear, how much I can fit in my suitcase, etc. (I'm flying in from Fort Lauderdale), my biggest concern is the sun and my skin! I have hyperpigmentation (melasma), and when I'm out in the sun, these spots on my face get darker. :oops: I've got an awesome sunblock that I plan to keep on me at all times and reapply often and I'm planning to buy a big brimmed SPF hat to wear during the day. Any other tips or advice? I know I can't be the only one who has this issue, and I don't want to waste time and effort worrying about my skin - I just want to be able to relax and absorb every experience and contribute in turn. Any advice?
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby Sham » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:58 am

Bring a nice big umbrella with you. It will be appropriate to carry one, and you'll have a portable shade structure with you.
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby much2naughty2 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:02 am

Make friends with people who have shade. Stay there during the worst sun of the day, 10-4, maybe take a nap. You won't miss anything and you still have 18 hours a day to party as the playa rarely sleeps. 8)
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby Nymue » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:09 pm

Thanks so much for the ideas! Luckily my friend that I'm going with (I think this will be his 7th or 8th year), is rigging up a shade structure for our camp. I like the big umbrella idea as well. I'm flying out to CA (where my friend lives) a few days early, so maybe I'll pick up an umbrella when I get out there - one less thing to take up the limited space in my suitcase! :D
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:34 pm

Umbrellas/parasols catch the wind.
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby gyre » Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:10 pm

You need a total block and shade.

Consider arab dress.

I use a sunday afternoons hat.
Most hats suck.

Check with your doctor and max out your vitamin D before and during the burn.
Makes the difference for me.


http://www.sundayafternoons.com/store/mens/
Last edited by gyre on Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby gyre » Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:12 pm

I use sport coppertone sunblock, in the discontinued squeeze spray.

Not rated high, but beats all I've tried.
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby Savannah » Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:34 pm

Look up specifically "UV Umbrella" on Amazon or somewhere else. These block more sun than a regular parasol. You can hand-sew stuff to the edges or the outside if you want to make one more interesting. Indeed, they catch the wind, so you can't use them in a storm or while riding a bicycle, but I bring a (regular) parasol every year and it gets a lot of use, combined with sunscreen.

I don't enjoy hats so much (large skull, thick hair) but I like shemaghs and other wide, pretty scarves. If you arrange a big, wide scarf "just so", you can shield your upper chest too, sometimes the shoulders. Good cheap sources: Ross, TJ Maxx, Target, Marshalls, Walgreen's, Army/Navy surplus, etc.
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby Eric » Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:13 pm

Nymue wrote:I'm planning to buy a big brimmed SPF hat to wear during the day.


Make sure there is a way to tie the hat around your neck! I had a wide brimmed hat my first year & it was useless because it didn't have a tie & kept blowing off.

You might also try try the "French Foreign Legion" or "hunter" style hat. You can get them fairly cheap & they will protect your neck.

I'm a huge fan of Keffiyah's (or shemaghs, or Arabic head scarves)- super easy to tie with a minimum of practice (I can tie mine in about 30-45 seconds), works as a combination hat and dust mask, and super comfortable.

Also- think loose blousy sleeves & pants for the daytime. I don't have hyperpigmentation but I'm a pale redhead with a high probability of skin cancer- don't play around with that sun out there! It can be brutal!
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby Igneouss » Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:15 pm

You'll be fine. Behave same as you do at home. Also BM really comes to life at night, so no issues there.
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That’s $6.8M that thousands of volunteers deserve to know about. Capitalism is alive at BM. Tickets are the commodity. Others have estimated higher profits.
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:30 pm

much2naughty2 wrote:Make friends with people who have shade. Stay there during the worst sun of the day, 10-4, maybe take a nap. You won't miss anything and you still have 18 hours a day to party as the playa rarely sleeps. 8)

Or even better, bring your own shade. (Radical self-reliance!)
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby essjay » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:55 pm

Lots of the larger camps bring large shade structures, like domes. On the Esplanade and and the main streets, these camps are used to seeing new visitors (and some have bars). When you are out and about, you can stop in to these camps for shade, to say hello, look at their art, share a drink, etc.
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby Nymue » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:06 pm

gyre wrote:
Check with your doctor and max out your vitamin D before and during the burn.
Makes the difference for me.


I had been supplementing with D3 until pretty recently. I didn't know it made any kind of difference with sun exposure. I'll have to look into that. I also supplement with astaxanthin, which absolutely does help protect your skin from the sun. There were times that I should've gotten pretty red (washing the car, etc.), and ended up with a light tan that faded quickly. Great stuff. I've already started maxing out my dose on that.

Savannah wrote:Look up specifically "UV Umbrella" on Amazon or somewhere else. These block more sun than a regular parasol. You can hand-sew stuff to the edges or the outside if you want to make one more interesting. Indeed, they catch the wind, so you can't use them in a storm or while riding a bicycle, but I bring a (regular) parasol every year and it gets a lot of use, combined with sunscreen.

I don't enjoy hats so much (large skull, thick hair) but I like shemaghs and other wide, pretty scarves. If you arrange a big, wide scarf "just so", you can shield your upper chest too, sometimes the shoulders. Good cheap sources: Ross, TJ Maxx, Target, Marshalls, Walgreen's, Army/Navy surplus, etc.


I actually just ordered an SPF umbrella from Amazon. It got great ratings and I shipped it out to my friend in CA so I won't have to worry about packing it. It also supposedly keeps you about 10° cooler, which is definitely a plus.
I've seen some pretty decent looking hats on Zappos (I made sure to look at ones that tie under the neck, I've heard it can get pretty gusty out there, to say the least!! :lol: ). I have a hard time with hats too because I've got a small cranium. Thought it might be a good option for when I'm on the bike though and can't hold onto an umbrella.
I was definitely planning on bringing some scarves!! Figured I can wrap them around my neck/upper chest, or even wear them as tops! Thanks for the shopping tips, I was thinking of some of those places as well. :D

Eric wrote:Also- think loose blousy sleeves & pants for the daytime. I don't have hyperpigmentation but I'm a pale redhead with a high probability of skin cancer- don't play around with that sun out there! It can be brutal!


Good idea. I was thinking less is more with clothing because of the heat, but it makes sense to cover up and protect my skin. If the SPF umbrella ends up working out well, that should do to protect my upper half most of the time, and I was thinking of picking up a few long sarongs to cover up my bottom half, which would also be breezy and comfortable.

Ugly Dougly wrote:
Or even better, bring your own shade. (Radical self-reliance!)


Yup, my friend that I'm going with is rigging up a shade structure for our camp. He said that he's fine without one, but he knows I'll need it!

essjay wrote:Lots of the larger camps bring large shade structures, like domes. On the Esplanade and and the main streets, these camps are used to seeing new visitors (and some have bars). When you are out and about, you can stop in to these camps for shade, to say hello, look at their art, share a drink, etc.


Sounds great! :)


Thanks for all of the ideas and advice!!
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby gyre » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:45 pm

D3 is definitely what you want.

You could estimate, but with skin issues, you should have an endocrinologist check your levels (actually everyone should) and take what ever supplement is called for.

It turned out I was very low, and it has made a great difference in my health.
They tend to prescribe D2, and I was advised to change to D3.
My doctors ultimately agreed.
Carlson has a 10,000 iu.

Most people should boost their D before the event, but it is well worth being tested.
Vitamin levels isn't even what we were looking for, but it may save my life ultimately.
Proper levels affect so many things I gave up reading.

The average person should get about 2000iu a day and could take more.
Most people tested, test low.
Why is still debated.


As for clothing, under perfect shade, less clothing seems cooler, but in direct sunlight,full protection is cooler.
The arab model of full coverage with clothing that allows ventilation is better.
Dark clothing can even block sun better and provide better shade than something allowing more light, if you aren't wearing thick enough material or enough layers.

Shade is always your friend for staying cooler.
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby gyre » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:49 pm

Worth mentioning that many get burned in odd places from reflection off the playa out there.

There are odd angles too at times.
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby eureka » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:59 pm

Good to hear I'm not the only one obsessing about covering up from the sun! I don't have melsama but grew up in the harsh NZ sun and have heaps of tiny sun spots all over me. The more I'm out in the sun, the worse they get :oops:

If you don't want to buy UV clothing then SunGaurd (https://sunguardsunprotection.com/) is a good option. You just dump a packet in the wash with your clothes and it makes them SPF30 - according to their website it lasts 20 washes. I use it mainly for my golf gear and tops made out of thinner fabric. Plan on washing all my burning man clothes with it before heading out.

I'm going for a tight fitting hat + keffiyah combo (lots of ways to wear them together) with a singlet, leggings and boots - probably not as cool as loose pants or a long skirt, but I'm always the most comfy in leggings :) then I got a long sleeved shirt to throw on as well, for longer trips out in the sun.
Last edited by eureka on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any other burners with hyperpigmentation?

Postby Casanova » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:08 pm

Sombrero hats are your friend
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