A sunny day, one of the best golf courses in Texas, and you. Sounds like a superb day in the making. But wait, did you apply a sunblock before stepping out? Let’s see, did you think a sunscreen lotion or cream isn’t that important? Well, you are not alone. According to a research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, a very small section of Americans use sunscreen regularly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts this percentage as 14.3 in men and 29.9 in women. However, cancer caused by the harmful UV rays is one of the most preventable types of risk for all skin types. And as a golfer you must take sun exposure seriously.
Many golfers have grudgingly come to accept the sun as a natural part of the game, but they are often oblivious of the health hazard that it may pose. Too much sun can lead to permanent skin damage. In fact, all golfers are at serious risk of skin cancer since spending more than four hours in the sun regularly without any protection has its negative effects. This is the reason why sunblock should be a must-have item for every golfer and they must apply it generously over the exposed parts of their body before they hit the links.
Understanding the Negative Effects of Sunlight
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be divided into two categories – UVA and UVB, and you must know about both in order to get a clear picture of why sunscreen is essential.
UVA Rays: Constant exposure to UVA rays may cause skin darkening and age spots. Wrinkles are a common occurrence. The scary part is that the UVA rays soak into your skin so deeply that they are actually capable of damaging your immune system.
UVB Rays: These rays are responsible for sunburn.
You must pick a good sunscreen that can effectively shield you from both the UVA and the UVB rays, preventing the development of tumors on your skin, age spots, sunburn, wrinkles and squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Quality of Sunblock You Must Use
Majority of dermatologists are of the opinion that golfers who spend long hours in the sun need to use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. If you are going to spend the whole day on the course, then you should definitely apply sunscreen that is at least SPF 50. When you play golf, you sweat a lot and so your sunblock is going to wear off in time. This is why you need to apply and reapply the substance often. To avoid this sort of hassle, you should find a sunscreen that boasts broad spectrum protection and is waterproof.
Adverse Effects of Not Using a Sunblock
Any kind of skin cancer is a result of skin exposure. This is why you should protect your skin at all costs while heading out during the day. If you do not use a sunblock, you might develop a tan or sunburn, which not only irritates the skin, but serves as an outward symptom of internal skin damage.
Necessity of Sunscreen
People with lighter skin tone are at a greater risk of developing melanoma.
The following is a list of physical features that indicate a higher susceptibility to sunlight:
- Blond hair
- Blue eyes
- Prior sunburns
People with one or more of these traits should never leave home without sunblock. They are at a higher risk of skin cancer, and sunscreen acts as a protective barrier against the harmful rays of the sun.
In case your family has a history of skin cancer, there is a high chance that you might be prone to the condition as well. Although sun damage is not the only cause of cancer, it is the most common. Exposure to sunlight may also result in solar elastosis, sagging skin, premature aging, and sun spots.
Protection for Players on Golf Courses
Golf players should constantly be reminded about the negative impact of sunlight so that they include the application of sunblock into their routine. They must properly apply the lotion on their arms and face, which are the most exposed regions of the body.
As a golfer, you should focus on the complete protection for your body. Begin with the head. Ideally, you should be wearing a hat that features a wide brim so that it covers your face and provides proper protection from the sun. You should also invest in a pair of good sunglasses that has a UV protective layer, so that your eyes are shielded from the constant glare.
You should always wear clothes that are long in length, such as long pants. However, simply wearing a shirt with long sleeves does not automatically guarantee protection against the sun. You also need to apply sunscreen, irrespective of your dressing habits. Try and apply the sunblock about half an hour before you step out into the sun so that the skin gets enough time to absorb it. You should also reapply sunscreen every two or three hours if you are out on the course for long periods.
Complete Protection Against the Sun
Do you wish to enjoy a round of golf without coming back from the course burnt to a crisp? Then you need to be prepared and proactive. There are a couple things you need to bear in mind before you head out to play.
- Keep a bottle of sunblock in your golf bag at all times.
- Frequently apply chapstick to your lips. Most players forget that their lips are skin too.
- If you can, you should avoid hitting the links during the peak hours from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
- Whenever you’re not playing, attempt to remain in the shade.
- Remember that no amount of wind or cooling breeze reduces the effects of the sun.
- Always wear long pants and long sleeved clothing.
- Even if the day is overcast, do not skip applying sunblock. Eighty percent of harmful UV radiation is capable of penetrating the clouds.
The next time you visit the best golf courses in Texas or other parts of the country, make sure you’ve included sunblock in your list of must-have items. There is no point in risking your health when a few minutes of skin care can potentially ensure a healthier alternative.