Sun Protection Should Be A Must On The Slopes

There's nothing like hitting the slopes on a brisk winter's day to get the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing. The scenery, the action and the thrilling cold and perhaps a little competition, too, combine to make the sport an absolute favorite among thousands and thousands the world over.

Ski fans buy it all to ensure they'll have the best time in season. From specialty jackets and boots to gloves and scarves, the ski wear industry is anything but small business. But once the skis have been purchased, the clothing's in check and the boots are firmly on the feet, there's still more skiers need to consider before heading out.

It's hard to believe since it's so cold out there, but the sun can be a real problem for skiers. Not only does it have the potential to block vision when it bounces off the white, packed snow, it can also pose a risk for skin cancer. That's right, whether its 90 degrees or 10 below, the sun still packs some serious UV rays. With this in mind, anti-cancer agencies like the Cancer Society are trying to get the word out to people to protect themselves from the sun year-round.

A study conducted by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand shows that there is a potential for skin damage when UV rays hit snow-laden surfaces, this is especially so at higher elevations.

Since UV rays can and do cause cancer, it's a very good idea for skiers to consider rounding out their gear with some solid sun protection. Ideas to avoid the rays, include:

* A good waterproof sun block for all exposed areas of the skin. Specialized nose and lip balms to block UV rays are absolutely in order. * Good eye gear that not only helps keep a skier from becoming snow blind while hitting the slopes, but also protects against UV damage are a must. * Smart, protective clothing. Ski gear in and of itself is generally designed to keep the elements out, which is good, but make sure good coverage of the body is included. Areas that are exposed to the sun should receive extra protection in the form of sun block.

It may be hard to consider needing to worry about sunburn while on the slopes, but smart skiers do. Skin cancer is a serious problem. In fact, the disease strikes thousands each year. The sun's harmful UV rays are one of the leading causes of the disease - a cause that can be readily avoided.

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