Monday, October 13, 2008

Prevent Fall Bleacher Burn

(ARA) - Many Americans’ favorite sports occur in the fall, encouraging individuals to spend more time outdoors free of summer’s scorching heat. But while the weather may seem cooler, many regions of the country continue to experience high ultraviolet indexes throughout the fall. In fact, even on gray, cloudy days, as much as 80 percent of UV rays can pass through the clouds.

Spectators, athletes and outdoor enthusiasts alike need to protect their skin from the unintentional damage they can receive while enjoying fall activities. Sun protection is especially important when spending significant time outside during sports games, hiking and other outdoor activities.

It’s a myth that the need for sun protection stops when fall starts. “Year-round sun protection is an important mindset to adopt in order to prevent premature skin damage that can lead to wrinkles, sun spots and some types of skin cancer,” says Dr. Elizabeth Hale, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine. “I always recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen anytime people are outdoors to help protect against both UVA and UVB rays. While UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn and are especially abundant in the warm summer months, UVA rays are present year-round and can pass through clouds and windows. Sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats remain important methods to protect from overexposure during the cooler fall and winter months.”

“Coppertone’s Sport Faces SPF 50 Lotion and Sport Continuous Spray SPF 70+
are among the many Coppertone products that provide broad spectrum protection across the UVB and UVA range,” says Dr. Patricia Agin of the Coppertone Solar Research Center. To help protect against fall and winter sun damage, Dr. Agin recommends following these five suncare tips:

* Protect your Face – While arms and legs are generally covered during cool seasons, your face is one part of the body that can receive year-round sun exposure. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen and apply it to the face, neck and chest before leaving the house.

* Don’t Forget the Hands – If you aren’t wearing gloves, the skin on your hands is just as susceptible to sun damage as the skin on your face. Smoothing on a sunscreen lotion daily may help moisturize dry skin and can help protect the skin from unintentional damage, helping to prevent premature skin aging.

* You’re Never “Above” Damaging Sun Rays – Whether you are hiking up mountainous terrain or speeding down the slopes, the sun’s rays become stronger as altitude increases. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UV exposure increases 8 to 10 percent for every 1,000 feet of elevation; therefore, choose a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF. Skiers are especially susceptible to “goggle burn” as the snow reflects 80 percent of UV rays.

* Be Sun Smart – UV rays are present year-round, reflecting off water, concrete and sand. The sun is the strongest between the hours 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Some after-school sports take place when UV rays are strongest, so whether you are playing on the field or watching from the bleachers, it’s important to protect yourself from potential sun damage.

* Make Sunscreen a “Family Affair” – Most parents understand the need to protect their children from the sun. According to the 2008 Coppertone “Sun IQ” survey, 82 percent of parent respondents agreed it is important that their children use sunscreen with an SPF above 30. Unfortunately, these parents are not practicing what they preach as 45 percent were not using sunscreen themselves. To encourage healthy sun habits for the whole family, keep a bottle in the bathroom and next to the door for easy, on-the-go application.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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