Posts Tagged ‘Skin Cancer’

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You may be familiar with this story, or at least the picture of this gentleman. It has been all over the news and various television shows. The New England Journal of Medicine has an article about the man pictured above. The left side of his face is severely sun damaged from driving a truck for 25 years and being exposed to the UV rays entering the vehicle. You can find the original article HERE.

This is great information that exposes the truth about the extreme exposure to UV that we are exposed to while driving our vehicles. Many of us would not even consider being outside for any amount of time without some sunscreen to protect our skin. However, we will think nothing of sitting for hours in a car without any form of protection from the sun’s harmful rays. There is an answer in the form of a UV filtering window film for your car’s windows. New technology films can offer significant protection and still appear as clear glass if a tinted look is not something you want. Also, many quality window films have been awarded the Seal of Recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation for providing a safe and effective protection against UV radiation. Call your local automotive window film provider to find out more information about which films they offer than have been awarded the Seal of Recommendation and what the cost would be to start protecting yourself from harmful UV rays while you are driving.

From The Skin Cancer Foundation

For most people, car safety means seatbelts and airbags. But there’s another important way to stay out of harm’s way on the road, and that’s by protecting your skin from the sun.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that nearly 53 percent of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers’ side of the body. If you’re one of the approximately 208 million licensed drivers in the US, take heed: “The increase in left-sided skin cancers may be from the UV (ultraviolet) exposure we get when driving a car,” said Susan T. Butler, MD, coauthor of the study.

Here’s how to protect your skin when you’re in a car:
Treat Your Vehicle to Window Film

The sun’s ultraviolet radiation is associated with most cases of skin cancer, which will affect one in five Americans over a lifetime. UV radiation reaches us in the form of shortwave UVB and long-wave UVA rays, but glass blocks only UVB effectively. Although car windshields are partially treated to filter out UVA, the side windows let in about 63 percent of the sun’s UVA radiation; rear windows are also unprotected, leaving back seat passengers exposed. There is, however, a solution. Transparent window film screens out almost 100 percent of UVB and UVA without reducing visibility, and is available in all 50 states. If you have window film installed, remember that it protects you only when the windows are closed.
Keep Sunscreen in the Car

A sunscreen should be on hand for quick reapplication during long drives (The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends reapplying every two hours). Look for one with an SPF of 15+ and some combination of the following UVA-blocking ingredients: avobenzone, ecamsule, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide.
Skip the Sunroof, Skip the Convertible

Drivers’ heads and necks receive the most UV exposure, so it’s no surprise that Butler’s team found over 82 percent of skin cancers on the patients’ heads or necks. A solid, closed roof is your best bet. If you have a sunroof or a convertible top, wear a hat, preferably a wide-brimmed one (3″ or greater all around). At the very least, be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed areas of the face, neck, and scalp.

The second most common area for skin cancers was the arm, so, in addition to applying sunscreen, avoid propping your elbow up on the open window while you drive-keep both arms inside the car, and your hands on the wheel. Long-sleeved shirts are also a great sun-protective option.

Keep a hat in the car, along with your sunscreen and UV-blocking sunglasses, and you’ll have a sun protection travel kit to see you safely to your destination.