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July 9, 2019

A Par for the Course, but a Double Bogey for Skin Health ⛳

Even if your golf game is strong, your skin health might be hitting every bunker. That’s because golf courses are open spaces, often without much shade cover, and that means a lot of direct sunlight. Courses with water features are even riskier for both your golf game and your skin health. The water features can act like a mirror, reflecting the sun’s rays back at you and intensifying your exposure. In the short term, those sun rays can cause a nasty sunburn, and in the long term, they can cause wrinkles and even skin cancer. So, how can you keep your skin from turning red when you’re on the greens? We rounded up a few tips to help you firm your grip (get it?) on sun safety.

🏌️‍♂️ Seek out shade: If you’re choosing between a golf course with lots of mature, shade-giving trees and one without any, let your skin health be the deciding factor and go for the shadier course. If you can tee off in a shady area or a sunny one, then choose the former. Who knows—maybe swinging the club from a different position will be just what you need to get a hole in one!

🏌️‍♂️ Cover up: The more you can cover your body with tightly woven clothes, the less harmful UV light will reach your skin. If you really want to improve your sun-safety score, find some athletic clothing with a UPF rating. (UPF is just like SPF, but for clothing.) The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a rating of 30 or above. 

🏌️‍♂️ Wear a hat and sunglasses: These easy-to-find accessories help to block the harmful UV rays that hit your eyes and face.

🏌️‍♂️ Golf during off-peak hours: Instead of getting in the golf cart when the sun is high, go during the early morning or at dusk. Your risk of sunburn is lower when the sun is lower. As a bonus, it may be cheaper to play in the morning or twilight!

🏌️‍♂️ Pile on sunscreen: We hope you’re wearing sunscreen every day because it’s the easiest and simplest way to lower your cancer risk. When you’re on the golf course, opt for a waterproof formula that will withstand your sweat. This way, sunscreen won’t go in your eyes while the ball is going in the 18th hole.

If you’re headed to the greens this summer, we hope you top your all-time high score and top your skin with sunscreen. For any questions you may have about skin health or sun safety, just make an appointment and we’ll share our insight. Good luck out there!

Yours in good health,
Your West Dermatology Team