In Australia, the rates of skin cancer are extremely high, with two out of every three people facing a diagnosis during their lifetime. According to the Cancer Council, in any given year over 750,000 people are treated for non-melanoma variations of skin cancer. Most cases of cancer occur as a result of exposure to UV which is found in the sun rays. Even when you don’t get visibly sunburnt, you are still at risk.
Many of us enjoy cycling, but as an outdoor sport it can often result in hours spent in the sunlight, so proper protection is vital. Before you depart on your next bike ride, make sure you are prepared. Here are our best tips for sun protection when cycling:
We all know helmets are a safety requirement, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have the benefits of a regular hat. Many of the top cycling brands sell specially designed caps which can fit snugly inside your helmet, giving your face and neck added protection from the sun.
Where possible choose cycling clothing with long sleeves and pants, while investing in gear which has been made with a warmer climate in mind. Activewear for cycling comes with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, and generally the higher the number the more protection it will give. There is a reason why bikes and lycra go together – it has much more sun protection than other lighter fabrics such as cotton.
Your eyes can suffer from sun damage, just like your skin. Look for sunglasses with high levels of both UVA and UVB protection.
A quality pair of sunglasses will give your eyes the sun protection they need while shielding against dirt and debris. Find a pair which is comfortable and blocks out the glare from the sun. Styles with interchangeable lenses will cater to a variety of different weather conditions.
Many riders opt for full framed sunglasses which protect the sides of the eyes as well as the front.
When applying sunscreen, always follow the directions carefully and use a generous amount. This should be applied half an hour before you go in the sun, and reapplied every two hours, or as necessary.
Find a variety with a minimum of SPF30, keeping in mind that we now have access to SPF 50+ so this is the new recommendation. As you will be exercising, choose a brand which is sweat resistant. Sunscreen should be used in conjunction with other measures, and not as the only means of protection.
No matter how cautious you are, if you spend time outdoors it is recommended you have regular skin checks. Sometimes a mole might look innocent but could be hiding something more sinister. Whenever possible, plan your cycling for the early morning or evening to avoid the hot midday sun. Don’t forget to keep hydrated!
At My Skin Centre we can give you a whole body mole check in as little as fifteen minutes. We have clinics located in 9 different locations for your convenience.
Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our experienced staff members.
With multiple locations throughout Perth and the South West there is a clinic near you!