Save your skin

Running can be rough on your outer layer, from blisters to sunburn. Here's our skin-saving plan.

by Denise Schipani & Ruth Emmett

Running at dusk
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Running is both your skin's best friend (that healthy glow) and its worst enemy (sun damage, sweat-induced acne). Here’s how to keep it safe, healthy and well cared for.

Outsmart the sun

An Archives of Dermatology study found marathon runners may have an increased risk of skin cancer.

Of course, you could run after dark or indoors to avoid sun exposure. But it’s more practical (and less boring) to be consistent about applying sunscreen to vulnerable areas, says dermatologist Dr Elizabeth Hale.

"I see a lot of runners with squamous cell carcinoma [a kind of skin cancer], which typically occurs on hands, neck and ear tips," she says.

Protect yourself: Be diligent about sun protection. Look for an oil-free product that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. A hat and sunglasses add extra protection, as do commonsense measures such as avoiding runs at noon.

Picture credit: Getty Images.

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