Why Skiers Often Get Sunburnt & How to Prevent It

January 10, 2023

This winter season, you might be planning to hit the slopes. Skiing and snowboarding are exciting winter activities that let us get some exercise in a fun way. However, it’s important to keep in mind the various risks we take when skiing– including sunburn. This blog will answer some frequently asked questions about potential sunburns while skiing, and outline when you should seek medical attention. It is important to take steps to protect your skin all throughout the winter, and especially when skiing.

For same-day urgent care services, visit AFC Urgent Care Stoneham today. Our team of licensed, board-certified medical providers specialize in treating burns, injuries and illnesses seven days a week. Visit the walk-in clinic with no appointment necessary.

Why do I get sunburnt when I ski?

Many people don’t realize it, but the high altitude and reflection off the snow can increase the risk of sunburn. Ice and snow can reflect a large amount of UV rays that reach the ground. That means, radiation can affect you even when skiing and significantly increase your skin’s risk of sunburn. Skiers and snowboarders often get burnt as they don’t take the necessary precautions of sun protection before the day.

Furthermore, sunburn risk can increase when engaging in high-intensity activities like skiing. At higher elevations, the atmosphere is thinner which causes UV rays to be stronger. Knowing how to prevent sunburn during your ski trip will go a long way in ensuring your trip is pain-free.

How to prevent sunburn when skiing

One of the most effective ways to prevent sunburn is to wear sunscreen with a high SPF. It’s recommended to use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. Remember to apply sunscreen generously, and to reapply it every two hours. In addition to sunscreen, wearing protective clothing can also help to prevent sunburn. Long sleeves and pants made from UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) fabric offer good protection from the sun's harmful rays. A helmet or hat can also help to protect sensitive areas, including the face, neck, and ears.

Sunglasses or ski goggles with UV protection are also essential for protecting the eyes and the delicate skin around them. Consider carrying lip balm with SPF to protect the lips from sunburn when skiing. Lastly, it is important to stay hydrated while skiing, as the high altitude can increase the risk of dehydration. Drinking plenty of water can help to keep the skin moisturized and healthy.

When to visit urgent care for sunburn treatment

Most severe sunburns occur in high UV environments rather than the cold mountain. However, in some cases, you might experience a burn that calls for professional care. This is especially important if you’ve experienced adverse reactions to the sun in the past, or have other underlying conditions that could potentially worsen your sunburn and lead to complications.

Visit an urgent care clinic if your sunburn is severe with blisters. If you’re experiencing other symptoms, including a fever, headache, dehydration, or nausea, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to be examined by a provider. Sunburn can not only be painful, but it can also increase the risk of skin cancer, so it’s always best to get checked on by a professional.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Stoneham for Same-Day Care

For comprehensive sunburn treatment, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Stoneham. Our medical providers are experienced in treating burns for patients of all ages. We accept many different insurances and offer low costs for our self-paying patients. If you have any additional questions about sunburn treatment, or other urgent care services we provide, please call our center directly at (781) 279-4000.

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