You probably already know that your skin turns red and painful after being exposed to the sun for long periods of time. But you may not know what's going on underneath the skin. Even when the burn is not visible, ultraviolet rays from the sun can alter your DNA and cause skin cancer. Not to mention, it will make your skin prematurely age. Learn how to prevent sun poisoning to protect your skin from the sun!
Make sure to slather on the sun screen and reapply every two hours. SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a way of measuring how protective sunscreen is from UVB rays. If it normally takes 20 minutes before you are burnt, if you use SPF 15 it will take 15 times longer for you to get that burnt. One important fact to note is that SPF is not linear and a higher SPF will not yield more protection.
SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
If you spend everyday day indoors and then suddenly go outside for intense exercise, your body will not acclimate to the heat and is more likely to to suffer from a heat illness. As you start slowly spending more time outside, your body will increase it's sweat mechanism to cool you down.
When your body is dehydrated it loses it's ability to cool itself. Water is often over looked because of it's lack of calories, staying hydrated is the key to fighting heat related illnesses and prolonging your endurance. Be sure the drink before, during and after practice to stay properly hydrated. Use a mouthguard that doesn't get in the way of that.
Keep your uniform light and comfortable. Wear shorts and T-shirts (dry-fit is the best for wicking sweat). Change your shirt if it becomes too sweaty. Wet clothes can retain a significant amount of heat.
Frequent breaks are more crucial when you are practicing under the sun. When possible try to take a 15 minute break for every hour of play. Find a cool shaded area to catch your breathe and re hydrate.
Some people are more susceptible to heat related illnesses than others. Certain conditions like cystic fibrosis, diabetes or simply being poorly conditioned, can increase your risk for sun sickness.
Nothing spoils the fun of summer like getting sick. Learn how to protect your skin from the sun and keep your cool so you can enjoy playing in the in the sun without the sickness.