Impact of Ultraviolet Photography on Sun Safety Practices of Snow Sport Industry Conference Attendees

Trevor Jones1, 2, Rasa Baceviciene1, Tyler Vukmer1, Chante Karimkhani3, Lindsay Boyers4, Robert Dellavalle1, 5, 6, Ryan Gamble*, 1
1 Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA
2 University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA
3 Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA
4 Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C., USA
5 Department of Dermatology, Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Denver, CO, USA
6 Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, CO, USA

© Jones et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Colorado, 1655 Aurora Ct, Mail Stop F703, ACP Rm 3233, CO, USA. Fax: (303) 393-4686; E-mail:


Studies have established ultraviolet (UV) exposure with increased melanoma skin cancer risk. The combination of UV exposure, high altitude, and reflection of UV rays on the snow may create a particularly relevant and high-risk population amongst those who participate in snow sports. The current study aims to determine the effectiveness of a UV-photography and personalized counseling-based intervention to improve sun protection awareness on the snow sport enthusiast population. Participants were recruited at the 2013 SnowSports Industries American (SIA) Snow Show in Denver to complete a 14 question pre-survey assessing sun-safety awareness followed by a Faraghan Medical Elise Digital UV Camera photograph of their face and counseling regarding individual results. Participants were contacted one to two months later by telephone to complete a ten question post-survey. Forty-one percent of participants (46/112) completed both pre- and post-surveys. The UV photography based intervention influenced the opinions and behaviors of sun protection in 78% of male and 62% of female participants with sunscreen use identified as the most frequently modified behavior (53%). While valid barriers to UV photography use include a current lack of reimbursement and lack of public knowledge of its utility, our study indicates the potential impact of UV photography-based interventions among high-risk populations who avidly participate in snow sports.

Keywords: Melanoma, snow sports, sun awareness, sun habits, sun protection, sunscreen, tanning, ultraviolet photography, ultraviolet radiation.