Saturday, 29 June 2013

Sunscreen while driving: love your skin when you are behind the wheel

Most of us spend a considerable part of our daily lives in travel or driving. According to some recent surveys , this constitutes the largest percentage of total time spent outdoors. This period spent inside vehicle poses the highest risk for intense sun exposure. " Most of us take this plea that we hardly walk in sun to the car park or bus stop which is just few meters and I am in the car or bus only ...Still why do I need to apply sunscreen ?"

Q Why to apply sunscreen when inside the car/bus , " The windows are closed "?
Ans Windshields are made up of laminated glass which blocks upto 90% of UV Rays but sadly the side and rear windows allow them uninhibited. Shoulder , arms and hand closest to the side window receive the highest sun exposure and are always more vulnerable.

In a study published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology researchers found that people who had spent most time driving car each week were more likely to develop skin cancers on the side exposed to more sunlight while driving!

Q- Is tinted glass or Films protective?
Ans Clear glass transmits 62%of UVA while dark tinted only 11.4% . UV absorbing films are even better only allowing 0.4% of harmful radiation. Imagine with the latest traffic rules of removing any sort of films how much our sun exposure has multiplied.

Q Okay then I will keep a sunscreen in my car always?
Ans No, never leave your sunscreen in a hot car. On a hot summer day when your car is parked outside, the heat may weaken its potency. Always treat your sunscreen the way you treat a prescription medication- keep it away from extreme heat. Most preservatives in sunscreens are designed and tested in a range of temperatures close to room temperature.

Q sunscreen on and i am all protected?
Ans Well almost, one vital area of your face is still uncovered and exposed. Yes you are right its your eyes. Here your sunglasses will protect. A pair of shades goes a long way to protect your eyes. Use a good pair which mentions the UV protection index. It should atleast provide 95% UVB protection and 60% UVA protection.

Keep your skin safe and enjoy your driving with a sun safe skin!..Stay skin healthy and skin wiser!

Dr Divya Sharma is a practicing dermatologist at Bangalore. The data shared in this blog is her personal opinion based on her knowledge and experience. The author is not responsible for any adverse event that arises out of following blog opinion

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