Photoprotection practices, knowledge and sun-related skin damage in Spanish beach handball players
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DepartmentDidáctica de la Educación Física, Plástica y Musical; Estadística e Investigación Operativa
SourcePeerJ - 2019, Vol. 7:e7030
Background. Outdoor sports are a risk activity for skin cancer, especially if adequate sun protection measures are not used. The aim of this study is to examine the photoprotection habits of outdoor (beach) handball players, and to determine the relation between duration of sports practice, photoprotection behaviour and sunrelated damage to the skin. Methods. This cross-sectional study is based on a health survey of sun exposure and protection habits and practices conducted among beach handball players in southern Spain. This survey provided data for a descriptive and comparative analysis, by groups and gender, of photoprotection and skin self-examination practices. Results. Among the whole sample, 76.9% had suffered at least one sunburn event during the last year. By groups, 73.97% of the older participants (Group I, University students) and 81.25% of the younger ones (Group II, youngers players) reported this outcome, and the difference was statistically significant (p D 0:003). With respect to photoprotection, 68.5% of the players in group I and 66.7% of those in group II used sun cream with a protection factor of 30 or higher, although 52.1% of group I and 35.4% of group II did not reapply it. As concerns self-examination, 94.5% of group I and 87.5% of group II had not examined their body for skin damage during the previous year. Medical examination revealed the presence of lentigines and freckles among many players, with no significant differences between the two groups. Conclusions. Beach handball players are highly exposed to the effects of ultraviolet radiation and often take insufficient measures of sun protection. Programmes should be designed and implemented to raise awareness among adolescent and young adult sport competitors of the risks of skin cancer associated with their sports activity and to encourage them to improve their photoprotection and skin monitoring practices.