More and more athletes are realizing how the dangerous effects from the sun can disrupt their training. To spread awareness and help reduce skin cancer, Wilmington Dermatology Center is urging athletes to ‘Be Sun Smart!’
Perspiration on the skin lowers the minimal erythema dose, the lowest ultraviolet (UV) light exposure needed to turn the skin barely pink. And if athletes are not applying sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to their outdoor workout, then they are setting themselves up for even more trouble. When you perspire, you are even more susceptible to a burn, and with continued exposure, to wrinkles, age spots and maybe even skin cancer.
Melanoma is less common than some other types of skin cancer, but it’s more likely to grow and spread. It develops when pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes mutate. Although most melanocytes are found in the skin, some occur in the eyes and other parts of the body. Knowing the risk factors and warning signs of melanoma may help with early detection and treatment. So be sure to wear your sunscreen (and re-apply every 2 hours, or immediately out of the water), hats, long sleeve breathable shirts, sunglasses, AND try to avoid training during the sun’s strongest rays (from 10am – 4pm).⠀
According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 96,480 people in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2019.⠀
That’s why it’s so important to have your dermatologist examine your skin once a year, especially after the age of 50. Also, be sure to conduct at home self-exams from head to toe at least once a month and report any suspicious skin area, non-healing sore or change in a mole or freckle to your physician.⠀
Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a dermatologist immediately for examination. ⠀