Summertime has officially arrived. Along with this beloved season comes the heat and the sunshine all avid summer runners know oh-so-well.
As a runner, you may know the intense summer sun a little too well especially if the first run of the season ended in a painful, itchy sunburn. Sunburns are not only uncomfortable they can increase your risk of skin cancer in addition to premature aging and other skin problems down the road. The best way to avoid a burn, tan, or other potential future skin damage is to adopt a strong sun protection routine before, during, and after your run. It only takes a few minutes and your skin (and future older self!) will thank you for it!
- Sunscreen, of course, is crucial! No matter how short your run, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and make sure it’s both water- and sweat-proof. Plan well, so you can apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes prior to your run.
- Re-apply sunscreen during your long runs too. A spray might be easiest. If you’re not clear on how much or how often, here is more information on sunscreen and some common misconceptions.
- Don’t miss spots like the back of your ears, the top of your head, any part of your back and the back of your legs and arms. These are often where skin cancers show up first!
- Don’t forget a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher. Lips can get really burned, and we often forget them.
- Get used to wearing a hat. Even a visor can provide a little more protection.
- Stay away from running when the sun’s rays are strongest, between 11 and 2.
- Consider clothing with SPF protection. Coolibar makes some great gear, as do many other clothing companies.
Finally, don’t forget to protect your eyes from the sun. Find some running shades that block intense UV rays along with your visor or hat to add an extra layer of protection for the eyes, which are really sensitive to the sun’s rays.
You can keep your skin and eyes safe from the hot, summer sun and help protect your skin from short and long-term sun damage. Remember, if you haven’t scheduled your annual skin exam this year, with one of our board-certified dermatolgists today!