As the weather warms up a little bit, people all over the Southland remember to put on sunscreen again. But you should wear sunscreen whatever the season, especially when you are going to be outside playing sports, especially skiing, when the sun is reflected back off the snow onto your face.
Professional snowboarder Chris Klug is a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology. He is an organ transplant recipient, and the drugs he takes to maintain his health put him at a higher risk for skin cancer, so he has multiple reasons to remember sun protection.
The Academy recommends everyone, including transplant recipients, follow these tips for preventing skin cancer:
- Seek shade when appropriate. Remember that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, seek shade.
- Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible.
- Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more to all exposed skin. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
- Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand because they reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.
- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product or spray, but continue to use sunscreen with it.