As summer comes to an end, pre-season sports and practices are only beginning. Many people believe that once the summer heat is gone, they don’t need to worry about protecting their skin. This ‘theory’ is far from the truth. UV radiation from the sun is not linked to heat, and can cause skin damage in all seasons of the year, even on cloudy or cool days. It is vital to protect your skin year-round, especially if you’re playing an outdoor sport. Below are some tips to help protect your skin during the fall sports season and all year long:
- Stay Protected – Always wear broad-spectrum and water resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply 20 minutes before going outdoors and re-apply every 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Remain Covered – Wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves, shirts with a collar, pants, dark colors, or clothing with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) label. Wear a hat and close fitting, wrap-around sunglasses, if possible.
- Be Smart With Down Time – Try to play in the shade, or seek shade during breaks and down time. Remember that UV Rays are strongest between 10:00am and 4:00pm, so if possible, avoid training during these hours.
- Monitor – Regularly look for any changes in the size or shape of existing moles or lesions, and monitor your skin for the appearance of new ones. Consult your doctor if you notice any changes with your skin.
- Take Care of Yourself – If you do happen to burn, apply aloe or moisturizing cream to ease any discomfort and to keep the skin hydrated.
Regular visits to your dermatologist, self-checks, and enrolling in an early detection surveillance program to monitor existing and new moles and lesions are essential in keeping you and your skin healthy all year long.
For more information on the symptoms of melanoma, read, The ABCDEs of Melanoma: Your Skin Cancer Detection Guide at .