Now that summer is here, you're probably planning a few trips. If your trips are going to involve spending time in the car, you'll want to take some extra precautions to protect yourself, and your passengers, from the sun. You know that outdoor exposure to the sun can increase your risk of skin cancer. However, you might not realize that your time in the car could also be exposing you to the harmful effects of the sun. Here are four steps you should take to protect your skin while you're in the car.
Say Yes to Tinted Windows
If you don't have tinted windows in your car, you need to have that taken care of, especially if you spend a lot of time driving. Window tinting helps keep the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays, both of which can lead to skin cancer. When having your windows tinted, be sure to have the process done on the side and rear windows of your cars, too. That's where the majority of the suns' harmful rays come through. It's also important that you keep your windows rolled up while you're in the car. That way, the window tinting can actually protect you.
Always Use Sunscreen
If you're not applying sunscreen to your face, neck and arms before getting in the car, you're not protecting yourself from the dangers of skin cancer. To protect your skin, you should apply sunscreen in the morning before you leave the house, and then several times throughout the day. You should also apply fresh sunscreen prior to getting in the car. This will ensure that you have adequate protection throughout the duration of your drive time.
Leave the Sunroof Closed
If you have a sunroof in your car, it should stay closed, especially during times when the sun is directly overhead. The same applies to your convertible top. Driving with the sunroof open, or the top down, exposes you to direct contact with the suns' harmful rays. Driving with the top down, or the sunroof open may seem like an enjoyable way to spend the summer. However, you could be increasing your risk of developing skin cancer. Protect yourself, and keep those closed while you drive.
Keep Your Arm in the Car
If you're in the habit of driving, or riding, with one arm resting on the door, you're putting your skin in danger. While your arm is resting on the door, your skin is being exposed to direct sunlight. Each minute your arm remains there, you're increasing your risk for skin cancer. While you're in the car, always keep your arm off the door.
Protect your skin while you're in the car this summer. If you notice unusual marks on your skin, or your moles begin to change shape, size, or color, schedule an appointment with your oncologist as soon as possible.