Over the course of a lifetime, one in five people in the U.S. will develop skin cancer, the world's most common cancer. Playing tennis outdoors means being exposed to the sun's rays for hours at a time. Want to play it safe in the sun? Consider The Skin Cancer Foundation's top tips for tennis players who want a winning match, not a sunburn.
- Play during the early morning or evening, or seek a shady court between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun's rays are strongest.
- Wear tightly woven or knit fabrics that are bright or dark-colored. This type of clothing offers the best defense against the sun.
- Use sunscreen and reapply frequently. Apply 1 oz (2 tablespoons) of a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to the entire body 30 minutes before playing. Reapply every two hours or immediately after excessive sweating.
- Wear a hat. While broad-brimmed hats offer optimal protection, a baseball cap or visor offers limited protection, and can be used in tandem with UV-blocking sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Pay special attention to protecting hard-to-reach or easy-to-miss areas including the back of the neck and tops of the ears.
- Protect the lips, where skin cancers often appear - choose a lip balm with an SPF of at least 30.
- Apply petroleum jelly to the eyebrows to prevent sunscreen from migrating into the eyes.
For more information on sun protection for tennis players, visit SkinCancer.org.