Image comparing sun damaged skin and skin with UV protectionA photo recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows just how damaging the sun can be to your skin. The striking picture of a 69 year old truck driver has gone viral, and understandably so.

The individual spent the last 28 years driving a delivery truck, and was exposed to ultraviolet rays through the window glass on the left side of his face. The rays penetrated the epidermis and the dermis, the first and second layers of the skin, causing a condition called unilateral dermatoheliosis.

The condition refers to changes in your skin due to chronic exposure to UVA and UVB rays. The result, which can be seen in the photo, is a gradual thickening and deep wrinkling of the skin. UVA rays are linked to long term damage like wrinkles and it can also lead to some skin cancers. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburns and are believed to cause most skin cancer. This research article elaborates the effects of sun exposure and skin cancer in detail.

In general, there is not a huge amount of concern for people inside a car with the window shut. UVB rays do not come through car windows unless they are open. While UVA rays do come through a closed window, the average person should not be overly concerned.

To protect yourself from damaging rays, use a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, preferably SPF 30 or greater. You have to apply it whenever you are outside for maximum protection, and reapply periodically. It is also a good idea to protect yourself from UV rays by covering up, wearing a hat and sunglasses to block the rays. Lastly, make sure you limit direct sun exposure in the middle of the day, when UV rays are the strongest.

For more information about San Diego sun spot reduction, give us a call at (858) 943-2113 today!

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