You wear sunscreen at the beach to protect you from sunburn; you avoid tanning bed use; you wear protective clothing when you are outdoors for prolonged periods of time. But have you ever stopped to think about potential sun damage while you are behind the wheel of your car?
A recent study published in the Journal of the AmericanAcademy of Dermatology found that, for professional drivers that spend prolonged amounts of time in the car, more skin cancer appeared on the left side of their faces. At least for drivers in America, our left side (especially our face) is exposed to more sunlight because the driver’s seat and driver’s side window is located on the left side of the car. The sun that penetrates the window and hits our skin can be just as harmful as if we were outside, an aspect of sun safety that many people tend to overlook.
With almost 12,000 skin cancer deaths last year alone (according to the American Cancer Society), it is more important than ever to protect yourself from the sun no matter where you are – and that includes the car.
Make sure to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen (protecting against UVA and UVB rays) everyday, even if you do not plan on being outdoors. Wear protective clothing while in the car for prolonged periods of time. It is also a good idea to get your windows tinted or look into UV filters for your car windows, especially if you drive a lot for your profession.