Slathering on sunscreen to sidestep skin cancer is often associated with being outdoors in the hot, summer sun. But don’t drop sun-smart habits to prevent and detect skin cancer just because the air temperatures fall. People remain at risk during cold weather months, especially if they are around snow (which reflects damaging UV rays) or at are at higher altitudes (where rays are more powerful).
Top alpine skier Julia Mancuso is passionate about raising awareness of skin cancer. And it’s a family affair: Her grandfather and aunt are dermatologists.
“Ever since I was a little girl, my mom instilled in me the importance of protecting my skin from the sun. I follow that advice to this day—on the mountain or off,” says America’s most decorated Olympic female alpine skier. Join in the fight against skin cancer with Julia’s tips and video for protecting your skin while on the slopes:
- Always pack sunscreen in your ski gear bag.
- Cover your nose: I use zinc oxide to prevent sunburn.
- Apply sunscreen every couple of hours because it wears off. I reapply every time I go into the lodge.
- Start your day with a daily moisturizer that contains sunscreen.
- Wear goggles or sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection for your eyes.
- Pull on a mask or wrap a bandana over your face to filter out the sun—and help prevent a wicked goggle line!
- Grab a hat. When I’m not wearing my helmet on the slopes, I love trucker hats to help protect my face from the sun.
Currently, skin cancer strikes one in four Americans and early detection is key to successful treatment. Now, a new video “Skin Self-Exam: How to Do” from the American Academy of Dermatology shows how to inspect your skin and what to look for.
“Check your skin regularly and see a board-certified dermatologist if you spot anything suspicious. Examining your skin only takes a few minutes, but it could save your life,” said Thomas E. Rohrer, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in Chestnut Hill, Mass. To track suspicious spots, use the American Academy of Dermatology’s Body Mole Map.