Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? As a golfer, you may have a higher possibility of becoming one of those statistics. To help lower your risk of developing skin cancer on the course, follow the tips below:
- Splash on the sunblock. Apply a generous amount of water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed areas 30 minutes before heading outside to play golf. An SPF 30+ lip balm with help protect your lips.
- Avoid a burn at the turn. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after the ninth hole.
- Put on a hat. The most susceptible place on your body for skin cancer is your head – the top of your head, your face, nose and ears. Wear a hat with a brim extending three inches or more all they way around, shading your face, neck and ears.
- Slip on some shades. Wear wraparound sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV radiation. Polarized lenses help cut the glare (from water hazards and sand traps), help you see the ball better when it’s in flight and protect your eyes from dust and debris on a windy day.
- Wear protective clothing. Even on the hottest days, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, covering as much of your skin as possible. Wear shirts and pants that are specially made to block the sun, and wick away moisture to keep you cool while out on the golf course.
- Move your tee time. Tee off in the morning or in late afternoon – avoid the sun at its most intense time (between 10 am-4 pm).
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages. When your skin dries out or is not hydrated properly, it’s more susceptible to sunburn and long-term skin damage.
- Perform skin cancer self-examinations. Once a month, before you get into or just out of the shower, inspect your skin. Check all moles and freckles for any changes in their shape, size or color. Make an appointment once a year with your doctor or dermatologist for a skin exam.