Don’t forget your sun protection


Spring is here! With warmer days and more intense sunlight, it’s time to start thinking about protecting your skin from the sun. Ultraviolet rays from the sun are the number one cause of skin cancer. Plus, these damaging rays can leave you with a painful sunburn! Luckily, too much sun exposure can be easily avoided. Remember some simple sun safety tips while you’re playing a round of golf.

The best way to protect your skin from the sun is to cover up. Having a barrier between your skin and the sun’s damaging rays works better than most sunscreens. Wear long sleeves and pants. Choose dark colored fabrics and tight weaves. Clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 30 or higher is also a good option. Also, wear a wide brimmed hat that covers your face, ears and neck, and sunglasses that filter out 99-100% of ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

For any body parts not covered up with clothing, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen. Here in the desert, it’s best to wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. This will protect your skin from around 97% of the sun’s burning ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Always choose a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection. These products will help protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Most sunscreens need time to absorb into your skin, so put it on 20 minutes before you go outside. Also, sunscreens break down when exposed to sunlight, so if you’re playing 18 holes remember to reapply after the 9th hole!

Some other ways to protect your skin include staying out of the sun as much as possible between 10am and 4pm and seeking shade when you are outside. Stay under the shade of your golf cart, or use an umbrella to shade yourself from some of the sun’s intense heat. Also, avoid reflective surfaces. Water, glass, concrete and sand can bounce damaging sun rays around and make your exposure even more intense. Reflective surfaces can also bounce rays into shady areas and cause damage to your skin, even when you’re trying to be sun safe!

While starting sun protective habits now is very important, many of us already have a lot of sun damage. A few bad burns in childhood increases your odds of getting skin cancer later in life! The good news is, when caught early, skin cancer is treatable. That’s why it’s so important to check your skin often for new or changing spots. If you find something suspicious, be sure to see your healthcare provider.

If you have questions or need a list of local dermatologists, feel free to contact the Skin Cancer Institute at 1-888-724-2749 or visit their website at