We want to kick off May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, talking about protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Protecting your skin from the sun is a serious matter. While fad diets and pop science tout “cancer preventing” super foods with difficult to pronounce names, protecting yourself from the most common type of cancer really comes down to blocking UV rays. Skin cancer affected more than 5.4 million people in the United States in a single year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all the other cancer types combined, and one in five Americans will develop it by the age of 70. Because this risk is so great, we wanted to offer some skin cancer prevention steps you can take to protect yourself while on the go, at home, and on the job.
Vehicle UV Protection
The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that over 50% of skin cancers manifest on the left side of the body. Researches attribute this split to our sun exposure while driving in the car. Given that AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the average American spends 17,600 minutes driving each year, that’s a lot time for one half of your body to be receiving more UV radiation than the other.
To prevent skin cancer, always keep sunscreen in your car and apply before driving. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapplying every two hours. Sunscreen is critical, because at least 50% of UVA rays can pass through glass, and even though they aren’t as intense as UVB rays, UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more common than UVB.
Another option is having a professionally installed window film installed. This is an even better way to filter the UV radiation that causes most types of skin cancer, because it filters all the time without the need for reapplying every two hours. In addition, many professionally installed window films are recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation. You can check out their article on using window film for sun protection by clicking HERE.
At-Home UV Protection
Speaking of windows, our homes are another place where we’re exposed to the sun’s rays. Untreated windows let in rays that wash out your furniture and damage your skin, so take precautions. Apply sunscreen if you’ll be sitting in a sunny area, and never bring a tanning bed or UV-based light into your home. If you have concerns about the UV impact in your house, you might even consider installing UV sensors.
An easier solution is to have a window film installed to block out up to 99.9% of those damaging rays. Because films put a barrier between your home and the sun, they reflect heat from the exterior and trap it inside during the winter.
For more information on the benefits of window films for protecting your home, check out the Skin Cancer Foundation’s blog post on the topic.
UV Protection on the Job
While you’re on the job, you’re still being affected by damaging rays. If your business has a storefront, a window film will block those rays and protect your merchandise and furniture from becoming washed out, while also saving you energy costs.
If you’re lucky enough to sit by a window while you work, don’t forget to consider windows film or a broad-spectrum sunscreen reapplied regularly. If neither these options is feasible, try and situate your workspace where you won’t be sitting directly in the sun.
If you work outside, sunscreen is especially important! The Skin Cancer Foundation found that 85% of melanomas and 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers come from exposure to UV radiation, so if you’re working full time outdoors, your risk will increase exponentially.
We hope you found this article on skin cancer prevention steps informative as we begin Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Our company is proud to offer professionally installed window films for your home and office to help protect your skin.
If you would like more information about our home window films, you can contact us by calling 716-875-5408 or fill out a form here. We are located in Buffalo, New York and cover the entire greater Rochester, New York areas.