Running in the sun can bring along its own set of problems and challenges. Marathon runners are at higher risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Outrun the Sun offers its TOP TEN SUN SAFETY TIPS to help keep people safe in the sun:
- Protect your scalp by wearing a hat. Your hair doesn’t protect your scalp and incidence of melanoma of the head and neck is increasing.
- Wear sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
- Wear a sunscreen that protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Remember to reapply your sunscreen every two hours (more if you are swimming or sweating.)
- Check the expiration date of your sunscreen. If it is expired, its active ingredients are not active!
- Wear sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays and the risk for ocular melanoma.
- Stay out of direct sun when the rays are the strongest: between 10 am and 4pm.
- Don’t use tanning beds: their ultraviolet rays can increase a person’s risk for melanoma by 75%.
- Wear protective clothing with a built-in UPF factor in the fabric.
- Remember that a white cotton T-shirt has a UPF factor of only five to seven. Wear clothing that is tightly woven and darker in color so less UV radiation reaches your skin.
Outrun the Sun, Inc. (OTS) is an Indianapolis-based non-profit organization dedicated to building awareness of melanoma and other skin cancers, educating communities about preventive measures that reduce melanoma’s incidence rate and raising funds for melanoma research, leading to effective treatments and a cure. OTS is the official sun safety partner of Girls on the Run International, USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Club of America. OTS also supports melanoma research nationwide at institutions including the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Institutes of Medicine, UC-Irvine, UC-San Francisco, Wake Forest University, NYU, University of Chicago and Indiana University. www.outrunthesun.org