Golfers and skin cancer share an unfortunate bond, this disease is often titled "golf's silent killer." While golfers eagerly anticipate sunny days on the course, little do they realise the substantial amount of sun damage they accumulate during the 4-5 hours of direct sunlight.
In this blog post, we will shed light on the risks golfers face and provide essential tips to protect themselves from skin cancer, the potential silent killer on the golf course.
The High UV Exposure on the Golf Course:
Golfers often hit the golf course during peak daylight hours, which unfortunately coincides with the highest UV levels. The sun's UV rays can be extremely harmful to the skin, leading to various types of skin damage, including sunburns, premature ageing, and even skin cancer. While it is easy to overlook the consequences of UV exposure amongst the enjoyment of the game, taking proactive steps to protect yourself is crucial.
Protect Your Skin:
Men, in particular, spend long hours in the sun while golfing, unaware of the damage that prolonged sun exposure can cause. Before heading onto the golf course, make sure you:
1. Wear Sunscreen Regularly:
Applying sun cream with a high SPF should be a non-negotiable habit for all golfers. Apply it generously to all exposed areas of the body at least 30 minutes before heading out to the course. Take a travel sized sun cream out with you on the course. Don't forget to reapply every two hours, or more frequently if you are sweating.
2. Wear a Hat and Sunglasses:
A wide-brimmed hat provides not only a stylish look on the course but shade for your face, neck, and ears, shielding them from direct sunlight. Additionally, wearing sunglasses with UV protection can help safeguard your eyes from any harmful rays.
Get Regular Skin Checks:
Skin cancers, including melanoma, can develop silently and may go unnoticed until they reach an advanced stage and are potentially untreatable. We recommend scheduling a skin check with a consultant dermatologist at least once a year, especially if you spend considerable time golfing or engaging in other outdoor activities. Early detection greatly increases the chances of successful treatment and recovery.
Melanoma is the most invasive skin cancer with the highest risk of death. While it's a serious skin cancer, it's highly curable if caught early. Prevention and early treatment are critical, especially if you have fair skin, blonde or red hair and blue eyes.
Don't wait to get checked! At Pall Mall, we offer dermatologist appointments with no waiting list or nhs referrals, which means you can book an appointment either the same or next day. Find out more information here.
Monitor Your Moles:
Keep a vigilant eye on any changes in your moles or the appearance of new spots on your skin. Read our blog on how to check your moles for skin cancer - Pall Mall’s guide to checking moles with the ABCDE method. If you notice any suspicious changes or you’re concerned about your moles or skin lesions, you can book an appointment with one of our specialist Dermatologists.
Outdoor sports like golfing are meant to be enjoyable and relaxing, particularly when the sun graces us with its presence (not always often in the UK). However, it is crucial to remember that the sun's UV rays are a significant risk to our skin health. By taking a few extra minutes to protect yourself, you can minimise sun damage and reduce your risk of skin cancer and can continue to enjoy your favourite game safely.
So, the next time you tee off, remember that protecting your skin is as essential as perfecting your swing. Stay safe and stay protected.