Skiers: Protect yourself from snow-amplified ultraviolet rays

Israel Cancer Association issued an advisory on Monday to protect the health of ski enthusiasts.

January 2, 2006 23:57
1 minute read.
Skiers: Protect yourself from snow-amplified ultraviolet rays

ski 88. (photo credit: )


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With the opening of the ski season on Mount Hermon and in foreign countries, the Israel Cancer Association issued an advisory on Monday to protect the health of ski enthusiasts. Prof. Raphael Shafir, the ICA's adviser on skin cancer, noted that ultraviolet light reflected on skiers by the sun greatly boosts its intensity and poses extra danger to their skin and eyes. Skiers and others enjoying the snow on the slopes should cover themselves up with bright, warm clothing made of tightly woven fibers, such as cotton, to keep the rays out. Regularly apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher; a total block is preferable. Use it even when exposure is for only a few minutes. Use a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or more for the lips and wear UV-filter sunglasses that block out all the dangerous rays. Drink a lot of liquid even though the weather is cold because intensive exercise causes sportsmen to dehydrate through perspiration. Shafir noted that even with all those protections, being out in the sun - especially when the rays bounce off the snow - can still be harmful and to cause cumulative damage, so minimize exposure. Applying moisturizing creams will make sunburned skin feel a bit better, but it is not at all therapeutic, he said.

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