(HealthDay News) – Improving college female athletes’ access to sunscreen by placing it in golf bags and locker rooms increases its use, according to research published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Lauren E. Dubas, MD, of the University of Cincinnati, and colleague conducted a study involving 83 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division (NCAA) IA female golf team members randomized to two groups that either were or were not given access to sunscreen in their locker rooms and golf bags. After four weeks, the participants completed a survey to explore the effect of sunscreen availability on its use in this population of female college athletes.

The researchers found that increasing access to sunscreen in the bags and locker rooms of female college athletes resulted in a statistically significant increase in its use. Sunscreen use increased by an average of 1.13 days per week. Reapplication during practices did not change. In addition, sunscreen use during competitions increased by about 20%, although the increase was not statistically significant.

“This study illustrates the need for increased sunscreen accessibility among NCAA collegiate athletes. The application of sunscreen increased significantly when athletes had easy access to sunscreen during practice and while traveling,” the authors write.

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