While golfing does not come with the same hazards as high-contact sports like football, it still comes with some risks. For instance, since games can last for hours, a golfer can be overexposed to the intense rays of the sun and potentially develop skin cancer. To help athletes have a safe and enjoyable golfing experience, the doctors and staff at Dermatology Associates of Central New York offer tips for staying protected while out on the course.
Since most games last several hours, sunscreen is just as necessary while golfing as it is for a day on the beach. Applying sunscreen may be more important when golfing than with other outdoor activities as courses seldom have trees or canopies to block out the sun. After all, these elements could obstruct the game.
At any rate, sunscreen is a must during a day on the green. For the most protection, golfers should:
- Apply sunscreen to any exposed area, including the chest, ears, forearms, hands, neck, and scalp
- Utilize an SPF lip balm
- Reapply every two hours or nine holes
- Purchase a new container of sunscreen each season as it loses its effectiveness over time
The degree of defense a specific sunscreen offers is measured as its Sun Protection Factor, or SPF. Contrary to popular belief, the SPF number does not indicate how long a person can be out in the sun without getting burned. Instead, the number expresses how long it would take for UV radiation to affect the skin as opposed to not using sunscreen at all. For instance, a golfer wearing SPF 50 sunscreen should take 50 times longer to burn under ideal conditions than someone who applied no sunscreen.
In most cases, sunscreen with higher SPF numbers gives users more security against burning, UVA rays, and DNA damage. However, some people mistakenly think a higher SPF means they can stay out longer, reapply less, and neglect wearing a hat or other protective clothing. To avoid these issues, look at the weather conditions, sun’s intensity, and the game duration to determine how much sunscreen is needed.
Wear Protective Clothing
Skin cancer is not the only effect of sun exposure – it can also lead to dark spots, wrinkles, and similar issues. Therefore, golfers may need more than sunscreen to cover bare skin while playing. A wide-brimmed hat is one of the most effective clothing options for golfers because it shields their entire face from the sun. A three-inch brim is usually sufficient for protecting the face. Golfers may also consider a neck drape for added safety.
Typically the sun’s rays are the most intense in the spring and summer when the climate is more hot and humid. These conditions make it less comfortable to wear long pants while golfing, but it may be the better option to protect the legs against radiation. If golfing on a cool but sunny day, athletes may consider wearing a light jacket to cover their arms.
Play When Sun Intensity Is Lower
Most golf games start in the middle of the day when the sun is at the highest point in the sky. At these times, people are at the highest risk of getting sunburned. While golfers may not be able to switch times for a tournament, they can practice early in the morning or later in the afternoon or evening, when UV radiation from the sun is less potent. As an added benefit, some golf courses charge people less during these times.
Take Ample Breaks
Golf may not be the most rigorous sport, but players should still avoid pushing themselves too hard. Whenever there is shade, spend a few minutes cooling down. Naturally, golfers should bring water with them to stay hydrated while playing. A break can also be the perfect opportunity to reapply sunscreen.
Seek Treatment from Dermatology Associates of Central New York
Unfortunately, golfers sometimes go out unprepared and experience discomfort with the skin days after a game. Athletes who have developed a skin condition while golfing can turn to the expert skincare specialists at Dermatology Associates of Central New York for treatment. The team performs cosmetic and surgical dermatology using the latest procedures and educates patients on different conditions and treatment plans.
Since 2008, Dermatology Associates of Central New York has been dedicated to providing high-quality, comprehensive, and compassionate skincare to patients throughout the region. Contact the office today to learn more about treatment for skin diseases in Fayetteville, NY.