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Skin Cancer Risk While Driving

Posted: July 8, 2013
Skin cancer risk while driving

Most people don’t realize that harmful UVA rays from the sun penetrate the side and rear windows of a car. For anyone who spends significant time behind the wheel, recent dermatological research proves that driving without protection from the sun could significantly increase the chances of developing skin cancer on the left side of the body and face.

Adding window film is a simple solution because it blocks up to 99% of harmful UVA rays. Eastman Chemical Company, manufacturer of LLumar window film and a global leader in performance materials and specialty chemicals, is working with The Skin Cancer Foundation to educate consumers on the importance of protecting skin while driving.

Protection from the sun while driving a car is recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation as a part of a comprehensive sun protection program. Using window film in a car can provide round the clock protection. Window films act as a form of sunscreen—daily sun protection with a one-time application. Installation costs range from $200-$500 depending on the size of the vehicle and type of film chosen.

Two types of ultraviolet radiation cause skin damage—long-wave UVA rays and short-wave ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Window glass effectively blocks UVB rays, which cause sunburns. UVA rays pass unencumbered through glass and penetrate deep into skin, causing long-term, cumulative damage. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with UV radiation from the sun. Unlike UVB rays, which create immediate effects like blistering, UVA rays create long term damage that isn’t immediately noticeable. “That is why many people don’t realize their skin is getting damaged from sitting near windows in cars, in sunny areas of their homes, or even at their desks at work,” says Mark Gershenson, director, Global LLumar Brand Management at Eastman. Window films can also be used in residential and commercial applications and offer the same protection as automotive films.

Do the right thing for your left side

In a recent article “Sun Hazards in Your Car,” by Susan Butler, MD, a dermatologist and micrographic surgeon at the California Skin Institute, Butler points to a trend in “wrinkles, leathering, sagging, brown ‘age’ spots and even skin cancers” on the left side of patient’s faces. “The more time subjects spend driving a vehicle, the more severe their photodamage (sun induced skin damage) on the left side,” Butler says.

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