Planning on hitting the slopes this winter? Don't toss the sunscreen just yet. A new survey by the Melanoma Foundation of New England discovered 39% of the adults polled said they always use sunscreen during the summer months, but only 13% said they always used it in the fall and those who said they never used sunscreen in winter rose to 53%.
Just as the sun reflects off water, it does the exact same with snow. Snow reflects up to 80% of UV radiation, which means your UV dose is close to double what it would be otherwise –– causing many such as skiers and snowboarders to receive sunburns. Many think these 'sunburns' are actually windburns, but that's not the case.
Skiers and snowboarders have an increased risk because of the high altitude and reflection from the snow. Deb Girard, executive director of the Melanoma Foundation of New England, spoke to the Boston Globe stating, “The danger of increased skin cancer risk at any time is really about the intensity of the sun and how much UV penetration is coming through the clouds. But in winter you figure in how much reflection comes off the snow, too."
Practice sun safety on the slopes this winter season! You won't regret it.