Reduce Your Risk of Unexpected Sun Exposure - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/19/06

Reduce Your Risk of Unexpected Sun Exposure

We either drive or ride in cars every day. Doctors say that's where we are getting some unexpected sun exposure. Dr. Richard Hope, M.D. says, "Sunlight through car windows are a risk people don't always know about."

For example, think about something that's been sitting next to a window in your home for a while. It usually gets cracked or faded .That's the same thing that can happen to your skin. Prolonged sun exposure can put you at a higher risk for skin cancer and skin damage. Dermatologist Dr. Hope says he sees five to ten new skin cancers every day. Dr. Hope says, "In the southern United States, one out of three to five people will get skin cancer in their life." 

He says reducing your exposure is the best prevention. Most car windows block the UV-B rays. Those are known as the burning rays of the sun. But Dr. Hope says you also need protection from U-V-A rays. Dr. Hope says, "The side and back windows don't always protect against U-V-A. U-V-A wil penetrate that glass and promote skin cancer and other sun damage so those riding in a car on a daily basis or lengthy amount of time can get damaged skin, specifically on the left side of their body."

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Tinting your windows can offer additional protection. Scott Flemins is the owner of Scott's Custom Tints. He says, "I use a metalized film by 3M. It blocks about 99% of rays and that's what kills skin cancer." He adds that darker doesn't necessarily mean safer.  Flemins says, "Whether it's a light or dark shade, you're still going to get U-V protection. The only thing that increases or decreases is heat rejection."

Even in the car, Dr.hope advises wearing sunscreen.  Dr. Hope says, "We recommend SPF 30 or more. It's what we recommend but that doesn't tell you how it blocks U-V-A." Instead, Dr. Hope says you must read the label and make sure your sunscreen lists a U-V-A blocking ingredient.

For more information about skin cancer prevention, (click here).

To take a sun safety quiz, (click here).

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