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Can You Get Skin Cancer While Driving in the Car?

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Skin cancer while driving in the car

Driving on a sunny day might be more dangerous than you realized
Photo: Timo Newton-Syms via CC

Although many of us are currently being assaulted by atrocious winter weather, sunshine is just around the corner and pretty soon we’ll be headed on our spring break vacations to soak up some much-needed rays.

We all know how important it is to protect our skin while outside—whether on the beach or by the pool—but how safe is our skin when we’re travelling?

Kicking Tires recently raised the question: Is it possible for your skin to receive damage from the sun through your car’s windows? The answer was quite surprising.

Because most people spend at least an hour in their cars every day with only clear glass shielding them from the sun’s rays, skin damage is an undeniable reality.

We can’t rely on any assumed protection from Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation by panes of automotive glass. Ultraviolet protection largely varies from car to car depending on qualities like thickness, tint, and type.

Because of this, the head of St. Louis University’s dermatology department provided three easy tips for protection in the car:

  • Cover your Skin: Coat your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30 and that protects against UVB and UVA rays. Wear a hat if you’re exposed to rays from above, through a sunroof or a convertible roof.
  • Tint your Windows: Invest in aftermarket window films, which are relatively affordable and block the majority of solar radiation. Just be mindful of state laws on the darkness of window tints.
  • Wear Sunglasses: Your eyes are important too, so protect them in the mornings and afternoons, when the sun is parallel to them.

Don’t wait until spring to start protecting your face from solar radiation. Keep your face in tip-top shape so it’s just as pristine as your beloved car!

News Source: Kicking Tires