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July 29, 2019

A Surfer’s Guide to Avoiding Skin Cancer 🏄

We know the sun feels good when you’re out hanging 10, but all that UV exposure adds up. A new Surfline story, featuring our very own, and super rad, dermatologist-slash-surfer Dr. Chris Carlin in San Clemente, paints a grim picture:

According to a 2015 study, surfers are three times more likely than the general population to get melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. That’s daunting news if you love nothing more than riding barrels, but never fear. You can take steps to protect your skin while you’re out on the waves. See what Dr. Carlin recommends below:

Reapply sunscreen: It might be hard to remember when you are out on the water, but you should reapply sunscreen every two hours for consistent sun protection. Dr. Carlin recommends using a sunscreen stick, a format that typically adheres well to wet skin.

Use a broad spectrum formula: Only broad-spectrum sunscreens ward off both UVA and UVB rays, defending your skin against sunburn and long-term damage. Dr. Carlin suggests that surfers use an SPF 50 formula.

Join the dawn patrol: The sun is harshest midday, when it is straight overhead. Surf in the early morning or late afternoon to spare your skin--and ride better waves. 

Research your surf destinations: Some popular surf spots, like Australia, offer little atmospheric protection from the sun. Read up on your surf spot before heading out so you can prepare.

For more of Dr. Carlin’s skin-saving wisdom, read the full story on Surfline. As always, if you have any questions about preventing skin cancer while surfing (or doing anything else outdoors), just make an appointment and we will talk you through it. Surf’s Up 🤙

Yours in good health, 
Your Dermatology team