Most people don’t realise they are at greater risk of UV damage while skiing than when on the beach. On the slopes, the skin is exposed to high levels of UV light, absorbing both the direct UV rays from the sun and the UV rays reflected off the snow.
There are two main reasons why UV damage is greater when skiing. Firstly, the higher altitude of the alpine region means you are closer to the sun’s rays. The atmosphere is also thinner than at ground level, which means there is less pollution to filter out UV radiation.
Secondly, because the snow reflects 85% of UV rays even on cloudy days, there is risk of sun burn in unusual areas of the body, such as the underside of your chin, scalp and behind the ears.
The link between sun exposure and skin cancer
Over 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK every year. More than 90% of all cases of skin cancer are associated with sun exposure.
If you’re heading to the slopes this winter it’s important to use sun protection. Here are some recommendations:
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