A majority of sun exposure can be attributed to day-to-day activities, such as walking to your car, taking out the trash, or doing routine housework. These activities all happen under the awareness that we are under the sun's UV rays, even if it is for a brief amount of time. However, what most people don’t realize is that they are getting far more sun exposure than they may think even when they believe they are safe.
Here are some examples of when UV rays are affecting you with your guard down.
- During Rainy/Cloudy Days: This may be the sneakiest and un-expecting ways we are affected by UV radiation from the sun. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. Some clouds may even magnify the intensity of UV rays.
- At Work/At Home: UVA rays can penetrate through glass and windows. If you work from home, or near a window at work be sure to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from those rays. To help with this you can get window tinting that blocks UV rays.
- In the Car: Every time that you get in the car you are exposing yourself to UVA radiation. There are some laws in place that require the front windshield to have UVA and UVB protecting material, however, the front and side windows do not require the same restrictions.
- In Shade: Shade is a great place to start looking for cover from the sun, however, it is important to be aware that the UVA & UVB rays can be reflected off surfaces like snow, water, sand, grass, and pavement.
- Nail Salon’s: Probably the least expected place from this list. We all love to get our nails done by a solan, but it is good to note that the lights used to set your gel nails in place emit UVA light. Make sure to protect your hands!
It is important to be aware that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are unyielding and will continuously be affecting our lives. You must protect yourself on a day-to-day basis, and a good place to start is wearing sun-protective clothing. To fully protect yourself make sure to wear a hat with at least a 3” brim, and a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 daily.
Being educated and aware of the sneakiness of UV rays and taking measures to protect ourselves against them would result in a world with healthier skin and less skin cancer.