It’s a known fact that prolonged sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer. This is why we people often apply sunscreen when they’re going out for long walks, or going to the beach, or expect that they’d be in direct contact with the sun for long periods of time. However, people rarely consider putting sunscreen when they plan on driving to and from a closed place, like when driving from home to work, or from the apartment to a mall.
UV Exposure and Driving
Unfortunately, harmful UV radiation (which 90% of skin cancers are associated with) can still permeate through your car windows, and driving (and more so when getting stuck in traffic) without proper protection can still contribute to the risk of sun damage and skin cancer. In fact, there’s a study showing that driving is linked to skin cancer on the left side of the body — the side which is often exposed to the sun. As such, it’s important to take these necessary steps in order to prevent the risk of skin damage and cancer when driving:
Apply and Keep Sunscreen
Make sunscreen application a habit when driving off to work, or whenever you step out of the house. Sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher can help reduce the risk of sunburn, skin damage, and skin cancer. It’s best to keep sunscreen inside your car in case you forget to apply some before leaving your home. Keeping sunscreen in your car also ensures that you can re-apply during long drives or when stuck in traffic. It’s recommended that you re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours.
UV Protection Film
People oftentimes neglect applying sunscreen whenever they drive their car, thinking that their windshield is able to block the UV rays. While it’s true that car windows can block a significant amount of UV rays, it’s not enough to protect your skin from sun damage and skin cancer especially during long exposures. As such, it’s best to invest in UV protection film as they’re able to block up to 99% of UV rays. A good option would be to have a window tint which can offer not only UV protection but can also provide privacy and help lower interior temperatures. You can check out businesses and auto shops offering window tinting services in Phoenix, AZ to have one professionally installed and following vehicle tint regulations.
Protective Clothing and Accessories
An alternative to sunscreen is having and wearing sun-safe clothing and accessories. You can wear clothing that can cover every bit of skin (long-sleeve shirts, pants), as well as a wide-brimmed head covering and UV-blocking eyewear. Keeping scarves and protective clothing in your car would be ideal just in case you forget to bring or run out of sunscreen.
There is no question that skin cancer can be quite costly to our health and finances, which is why investing in these precautionary measures is something we should take seriously — prevention is a lot better, and cheaper than the cure after all. So, make sure to take into account the number of hours you spend in your car, still being exposed to the sun’s UV radiation, in order to take the necessary steps to protect you from the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.