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Ski holiday sunscreen warning

WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

6th January 2016 - Skin experts are warning people heading for the ski slopes this winter to remember to pack their sunscreen.

The British Skin Foundation says UV rays are 5% stronger for every 1,000 feet above sea level, plus snow can reflect back up to 80% of UV rays.

As well as the skin damage and skin cancer risk from unprotected skin, it says snow can cause a sore red face and 'panda eyes’.

Ski sun tips

The British Skin Foundation recommends:

  • Use sunscreen that's SPF30 or higher with a high level of UVA protection
  • Re-apply sunscreen to exposed skin just as frequently as you would in the summer sun
  • Don’t forget protection or balm for the ears, lips and back of the neck
  • Stay moisturised to help protect against skin drying and cracking in the cold and winds.

The skin cancer charity Skcin also says the risk from UV rays is lower when skiing earlier in the morning or later in the day, before 11am and after 3pm. Ski goggles or wraparound sunglasses or goggles offering 99% or greater UV protection are good choices to protect the eyes, your eyelids and areas of sensitive skin around the eyes.

Vital protection

In a statement, Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, says: "It’s all too easy to forget about skincare when you’re covered from head to toe, but at altitude, the risk of sunburn remains high. It’s vital to adequately protect exposed sites with high factor broad spectrum SPF and remember to reapply frequently."

Reviewed on January 06, 2016

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