MPN Voice
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ET and Sun Exposure

Hi, I was diagnosed in October 2015 with ET (Jak2 negative). I am now on 2 x 500mg of Hydroxycarbamide and baby aspirin which seems to have stabilized my platelet count to around 320/350. I now only see my hemo every 3 months.

On to my question....does anybody know if too much sun exposure with my condition is a bad thing? My intention is to spend more time in sunnier climes, with the usual sun cream applied of course!

Many thanks


8 Replies

Hi Michael, good to hear your platelet count is looking good. Yes we do have to be careful of the sun especially when on Hydroxycarbamide, as this makes you more sun sensertive, but like you I love the sun makes me me feel really good and I always am a lot healthier in the summer months.

So I reasearched skin care products and found that P20 30 and so on very good, but if you have friends in Australia get them to send you some Solar D it is amazing stuff, allows you to be out and about in the sun without burning, but allows the suns rays to penetrate your bones giving you the vitamin d that we all need to stop our bones crumbling with osteoporosis more common with woman than men though.

As the Australians have a very high rate of skin cancer they are the ones that know all about a healthy skin and have designed some amazing product. Of course you must not be out exposed to the midday sun which most of us keep too, and of course if you do have to be out wear a hat and protect your self with light clothing this helps

And of course make sure you keep your intake of water up every day.

So go and enjoy your sunnier climate, very envious. !!!!!!



Hi Michael, when I started on Hydroxycarbamide my haematologist told me I must not have sun exposure as the drug increases the risk of skin cancer. He said I must cover up, wear a hat and use factor 50 on any exposed areas. It's worth checking with your consultant as it seems opinions can vary but that is what I was told. Best wishes, Francesb.


Hi Michael. I am also on two hydroxycarbomide daily and have been for five years. I live for months at a time on the Algarve and my specialist nurse knows this yet he has never suggested I stay out of the sun. I do use a good factor sun cream however. I definitely feel so much better in a sunny climate 😀😎


Hi I am just about to go to Thailand and was told by my consultant at appointment last week to stay outbid midday sun, wear hat and high factor sun cream. Hydroxy makes your skin more sensitive to sun and more own to skin cancer or discolouration . I wore ultrasun factor 50 on my last hols and felt fine . However that was my first hols being on hydroxy and I did think i felt a little more heat on my skin than previous hols when only used factor 30 so I think we may be right to be a little more cautious but enjoy the Rays .

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Hi Michael , I have had ET for some 20 years and have had some problems with sun damage on my face and ears , and recently had some basel cell carcinoma surgically removed . I too love sunny places but always wear a hat and if really hot sun cream as well. I also spend a lot of time gardening. So I suggest you take some precautions.

all the best Town Crier


Hello Michael, you do have to take precautions when you have a MPN and also if you are taking medication for it, especially Hydroxycarbamide, the advice on our website: Do I need to take any special precautions? Your skin may be more sensitive to the sun whilst you are taking hydroxycarbamide so it would be wise to avoid exposure to the sun, using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing and a hat. Best wishes, Maz

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Thank you all for your replies. I do intend to enjoy myself in the warmer climes and will of course wear the high factor sun creams....but not ready for the all over body bandage yet!! :) Many thanks. Michael


Hi Michael, I don't have trouble with sun exposure, I live in the North Of England and holiday in this country, if we get our scarves and coats off in the summer we count ourselves very lucky, we are of course still wearing thermal vests, jumpers, long johns etc in July!!

Best wishes


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