At this point we are sure that you’ve seen the news about Hugh Jackman’s second skin cancer scare. On Instagram May 8, Hugh pleaded with his fans: PLEASE! PLEASE! WEAR SUNSCREEN!
We think this is a great message. But we believe that Coolibar sun protective clothing would be a fabulous solution as well! In case he doesn’t know, sun protective clothing is:
Easy to wear. You don’t have to reapply every two hours!
Suitable for water sports. We have several fabrics that are quick-drying and provide four-way stretch for activity in and out of the water.
Cool and comfortable. Lightweight, moisture-wicking material keeps you cool even in the hot sun.
Great-looking! Need we say more?
We think Mr. Jackman would look pretty good in a Coolibar sun hat, maybe a polo, not to mention an entire wardrobe of Coolibar UPF 50+ clothing. Do you think so, too? Tell him about sun protective clothing on:
Yes, melanoma – known as the most serious type of skin cancer – can occur in your eyes! In fact, according to the Melanoma Research Foundation, ocular melanoma (also known as OM) is the second most common form of melanoma, with about 2,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. About half of OM cases are eventually fatal as the cancer spreads to other parts of the body.
And as with all melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancers, prevention starts with education. A terrific guideline: The greater your risk of developing skin cancer through exposure to UVA and UVB rays, the greater your risk of developing OM.
Why the Eye?
OM is similar to skin melanoma, but there are significant differences. Many people have heard of the natural pigment melanin, which gives our skin its particular color, and we might also know that melanoma develops from the cells which produce melanin. But these cells are not just in our skin. We carry them in our intestinal lining, and in our hair; they also give color to our eyes.
Are of European descent, especially northern Europe.
Have occupations such as welding, where proper eye protection is vital.
Also, age is a factor: people 50 and above have a much greater risk of developing OM.
What Can You Do?
It’s important to realize that anyone can develop ocular melanoma. Our eyes are constantly exposed to the sun whenever we are outside, whether we are active on the tennis court or running errands in the car. We should pay attention to eye care right along with skin protection. Here are some tips:
– Invest in a good pair of sunglasses. Look for a pair that blocks 99-100 percent UVB and UVA rays. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN offers tips on selecting sunglasses.
On days like this past Thursday in Melbourne, the answer is yes. That day, all matches in the Australian Open – the opening grand slam event in pro tennis each year – were suspended because of heat that climbed to 110 degrees F (40+ C).
That’s not sustainable for players or fans; if you happen to be either one, you know that tennis requires you to be out in the sun for hours at a time. But when it isn’t so hot, a larger and less obvious danger remains: how are people protecting themselves from UVA and UVB rays that can cause skin cancer?
In Australia – which as a nation has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world – this isn’t an unusual question. At this year’s Australian Open, officials have passed out sunscreen to fans and stocked it in the locker rooms. And well-known professional tennis players like John Newcombe of Australia and Felix Mantilla of Spain have had very public battles with skin cancer after their playing days were over.
Yet many tennis pros today say they don’t like to wear sunscreen. They cite the same reasons you might as a casual player (or a fan): sunscreen is too slippery; it can feel like it’s blocking the body’s natural cooling process; it gets in your eyes.
Other players, like Australian former world No. 1 player Patrick Rafter (who played a doubles match in this year’s tournament), make it clear that sunscreen is a must. But what else can be done?
A great option that can no longer be overlooked is wearable sun protection.
In 2000, former tennis pro Chris Evert explained to a tennis magazine that her eyes had been permanently damaged by UV rays. Now, UV protective sunglasses and even contact lenses are available for players and fans.
But there’s much more available than that. In the same article, Evert mentioned that players had only recently begun wearing hats while playing. Now there’s a whole range of UPF 50+ sun protective hats in a variety of styles, with features like wide brims, breathable and quick-drying fabrics and removable neck drapes.
In fact, tennis players can now outfit themselves with entire ensembles – complete sun protection from head to foot. This is partly because of increased awareness about the dangers of UVA and UVB rays, and partly because fashion has finally caught up with function.
Is tennis too dangerous? Even if you’re not playing in a prestigious professional tournament watched the world over, the answer should always be a resounding “no.”