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Solar Ultraviolet Exposure in Individuals Who Perform Outdoor Sport Activities

  • Snyder, Alan1
  • Valdebran, Manuel1
  • Terrero, David2
  • Amber, Kyle T.3
  • Kelly, Kristen M.4
  • 1 Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA , Charleston (United States)
  • 2 University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA , Toledo (United States)
  • 3 University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA , Chicago (United States)
  • 4 University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA , Irvine (United States)
Published Article
Sports Medicine - Open
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Sep 03, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s40798-020-00272-9
Springer Nature


BackgroundSkin cancer is the most common cancer in the USA. Therefore, it is important to review the contribution of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure to skin cancer in individuals with the highest risk. Documenting the relationship between outdoor sports solar ultraviolet exposure and their risk of skin cancer along with appropriate risk mitigation strategies can help inform clinicians of practical information for counseling sun protective behaviors in this population.MethodsWe conducted a review of the current evidence using PubMed to answer the following research questions: (1) How is ultraviolet radiation measured? (2) What is the modern utility of the ultraviolet index in modifying recreational sun protection behaviors? (3) What is the risk of developing skin cancer for outdoor sport participants? (4) What is the prevalence of skin cancer in sport participants? and (5) Is the number of nevi and solar lentigines elevated in outdoor sport participants?ResultsBased on the literature, individuals who practice outdoor sport-related activities receive high ultraviolet radiation exposure, have a high risk for skin cancer, have a high prevalence for pigmented lesions, and may benefit from electronic sun protection educational interventions.ConclusionsIndividuals who practice outdoor sports experience substantially higher ultraviolet radiation exposure, routinely exceed the recommended exposure limits, and are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, those who are frequently engaged in outdoor leisure activities should be coached about efficient sun protective practices and relevant mobile technologies that may facilitate adherence.

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