Most of Us Take Proper Precautions When We are in the Sun
We apply 30 SPF sunscreen and wear protective clothing when we know we will be exposed to a large amount of sun. But, how about when we are soaking up the sun’s harmful UV rays without even realizing it? There are many times, per day, that people unprotected and exposed to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
Everyday Ways You May be Soaking Up the Sun’s Harmful UV Radiation Without Knowing it
Driving in the car:
Most late make/model car windshields are equipped with UV protection. However, most of the time, other windows in vehicles do not have UV protection, unless you’ve added the option after market or when you purchase your vehicle. This fact also includes sun and moon roofs. Even if you have installed UV protection to all of your vehicle’s windows, once a window is rolled down, the UV protection rolls down with it.
A recent study showed that most skin cancers in the United States, develop on the left side of the face and body. This finding is especially pronounced in men, who more consistently spend time driving vehicles over the course of their lifetimes1. However, the number of vehicles per household has nearly doubled in the last 25 years, and this is making it more likely that women today will also spend more time driving vehicles over the course of their lifetimes.2
There are many ways people can protect themselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays while driving:
1) Apply a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 higher to any exposed skin
2) Install UV protectant film to vehicle windows. UV films do not always need to be tinted, they can be clear as well.
3) Wear clothing containing Ultraviolet Protective Factor (UPF). You can also wash your clothes with SunGuard® if they do not have a UPF. SunGuard®adds UPF to your clothing and typically lasts up to 20 washes.
4) Wear a hat and sunglasses. Protect your eyes. Ensure your sunglasses are rated with UVA/UVB protection.
Sitting by a window:
There are days when the sun’s heat feels so good coming through an office or home window. Unless those windows have been treated with a UV barrier, you are being exposed to much more than just the sun’s warmth shining through.
There are several window treatments on the market that can be applied to reduce the amount of UV rays that enter through windows. These products protect you from harmful UVA and AVB rays without darkening your space. You can still enjoy the sun’s light and warmth.
Window Treatments that Filter Out UVA and UVB Rays:
Make it a routine to apply sunscreen every day and to wear a UV monitoring device from Eclipse Rx®. The device works inside as well as outside and will alert you when you need to reapply sunscreen or move away from the sun, even indoors.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. This is the reason people often end up with serious sunburns and skin damage on overcast days if they’ve spent time outside with no sun protection.3
Don’t be afraid of the sun, as long as you are prepared, and you protect your skin, there is no reason not to LUV Life Outdoors!
The EPA sponsors a helpful tool below that can provide your with information about the UV index in your area. Enter your location information below (i.e., zip code, city, state), then click the green search icon. You will be redirected to the EPA’s web site where the UV index information for your area will be displayed for you.
Use UV index information to help you plan for how much sun protection you need based on your skin type. If you don’t know what your skin type is, click here to learn more.
There are precautions a person can take to avoid the burn™:
1) Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher and reapply every 2 hours
2) Wear clothing treated with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) such as SunGuard®
3) Wear the BurŪV Smart Apple Watch Band, the Fitness Tracker for Your Skin. BurŪV will monitor how much UV you have been exposed to, and notify you to apply more sunscreen or move into the shade
1Butler ST, Fosko SW. Increased prevalence of left-sided skin cancers. J Am Acad Dermatol 2010; Dec;63(6):1006-10.
2McGuckin N, Liss S. Aging cars, aging drivers: important findings from the National Household Travel Survey. Institute of Transportation Engineers 2005; 75(9):30-37.
3The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Guide to Sunscreens. (2018, October 29). Retrieved from https://www.skincancer.org: https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/the-skin-cancer-foundations-guide-to-sunscreens