An Austrian study points out that the risk of developing skin cancer is very high in long distance runners. The results of the study done by researchers from Medical University of Graz were published in the Archives of Dermatology journal.
The study found out that marathon runners have increased chances of developing liver spots and moles on their skin .Both liver spots and moles reflect a higher risk to development of skin cancer or malignant melanoma. This risk gets predominantly high due to over exposure to sun's harmful ultra-violet rays .This can be minimized with adequate protection from UV-rays using sun screen lotions and appropriate clothing.
In the survey done as part of the research, it was seen that only 56.2% of the athletes who were part of the clinical trials, actually used sunscreen.86.7% of the runners were used to being in the sun continuously, wearing short sleeved shirts.
Researchers cautioned that long distance runners should be informed about the potential dangers of prolonged exposure to UV rays.UV rays plays a significant role in the development of skin cancer.Athletes must be cautioned to avoid excessive exposure to UV radiation .They should avoid being in the sun for long hours without suitable clothing and water resistant sun screen lotions.
Apart from exposure to UV rays the research also found out that, in long distance runners ,the body's immune system is under much stress owing to the high endurance levels. This can also in turn facilitate higher risk for development of skin cancer.