Free & Fast shipping on all orders

Your Story Series: Meet Kate

Solbari blog: Your Story Series: Meet Kate

What is your name? 

Hi, my name is Kate.

Describe yourself.

I love being around animals and the outdoors.

How did you discover your skin cancer / melanoma / skin condition and how long ago?

About 15 years ago I came up in a rash all over my body after being at the beach. After several months I was diagnosed with Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) - an autoimmune disorder that causes skin lesions, joint pain and other soft tissue problems. Exposure to sunlight and UV rays causes the disease to flare up. A flare up can feel a bit like a flu where you feel tired and achy and out of sorts as well as the rash.

What is your attitude towards sun protection today?

At first I avoided the sun like a vampire, but that meant missing out on activities I enjoy, like horse riding, swimming, playing outside with the dog.

I now do lots of outside activities but I cover myself head to toe with sun protective clothing and sunscreen. I keep UV sleeves and an easy zip-up swim top in the car for driving. I also get my skin checked every year for any nasties.

What would you tell your 16-year-old self about sun protection?

If I had been able to live a day in my current skin when I was 16 and seen all of the wrinkles and spots, I hope I would have thought twice about trying to get a tan. In some ways I wish I had found out about my lupus earlier so I could have protected myself from the sun sooner and had less aged skin in my 50s.

What is so great these days is you see a lot of people taking better care of their skin in the sun. Having fair un-freckled skin is starting to be more attractive than having a tan, especially once you are a bit older, and the effects of those days of sunbaking start to show.

I am very glad to see how conscious parents are about not letting their kids get burnt these days. There is really no need for anyone to be self-conscious about covering up whether they are at the beach or in the car.

Whether you cover up for modesty, or to protect your skin from ageing, or to prevent a future melanoma, I think the end result is that be fewer people will have their lives impacted by skin cancer and that is a great thing.

Pictured: This is me in mylong-sleeve, high-collar Solbari top with sunscreen on, getting ready to go horse-riding.

Thank you Kate for helping raise awareness for lupus, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.

The Solbari Team



Also in Solbari Blog

How to pick the perfect sun hat for sun protection
How to pick the perfect sun hat for sun protection

This blog describes the features of a sun hat if you are looking to be protected from the sun, to prevent skin cancer, skin ageing and sunburn. The features of a sun hat which offer maximum sun protection include a UPF50+ rating, a broad brim and a neck flap. A UPF50+ broad brim sun hat is key to skin cancer prevention.
Read More
What you need to know about how UVA and UVB rays affect your skin
What you need to know about how UVA and UVB rays affect your skin

Many of us see the ultraviolet (UV) index on weather reports and read about UV alerts at particular times of the day. But do you know what it actually means and how it affects you?

There are two main types of UV rays and both cause damage to skin cells. Ultraviolet light is a form of radiation invisible to the human eye. Ultraviolet wavelengths of sunlight are made up of UVB, which has shorter wavelengths and higher energy, and UVA, which has longer wavelengths and lower energy.

Read More
Why you should wear sunscreen everyday
Why you should wear sunscreen everyday

Your skin is your body’s largest organ and it needs the best protection against the harsh effects of the environment. Constant exposure to the sun’s ultra violet (UV) rays can lead to damage to your skin such as wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer. Sun damage is cumulative, which means that the damage to the skin caused by the sun’s UV rays all adds up.
Read More