Did you know that the majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over the age of 50? However, men over age forty have the highest exposure to UV radiation. Melanoma is one of the only cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men. Why is that so? One possibility is because golf can be played year-round and the average golfer age is fifty-four, according to a poll taken back in 2016. So how can you take precautions to try and protect yourself from the sun when out playing golf?
- Early/Late Tee Time:
- Get out early and golf before the sun is high in the sky, or in the late afternoon when the sun is beginning to go down. The sun is the most intense from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
- Seek the Shade:
- Whenever you can, stand under a tree, or sit in your cart while others are golfing
- Dress Appropriately:
- It is important to cover as much skin as possible, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Wearing light-colored clothing will reflect the sunlight, whereas darker clothing soaks in the UV rays. Wear “active-wear,” so your body can breathe and it will help to wick away sweat. Wide-brim hats extend three inches or more all the way around, which shades your face, neck, ears, and shoulder tops.
- SPF 30+ Sunscreen:
- Apply a sunscreen of 30+ SPF or higher to exposed areas 30 minutes prior to heading outside and reapplying every two hours (at the 9th hole) is recommended. If your lips burn easily, SPF lip balm may also be purchased at Wal-Mart, or your local pharmacy.
Golfing can be a fun and relaxing sport, but taking precautions against the sun’s UV rays is also important. We hope these helpful tips can help you when you’re out enjoying the sun and retirement days!