Arizonians love the warm weather and the sunny sky, but there are hidden dangers that come with the sun. Arizona is a bit close to the equator, and some parts of the state are substantially elevated. These two factors contribute to increased concentrations of ultraviolet radiation, the primary cause of skin cancer.
Your everyday commute exposes you to significant amounts of UV radiation. While your drive to work may be short, the chronic exposure to UV, even for brief periods, accumulates and raises your risk of developing cancer. Most skin cancers appear on the left side of the body, and research has confirmed that this is due to sun exposure while driving. The glass in your automobile’s windshields come with UV protection, but your car’s other windows do not. Spend a day to have your car windows treated with UV filtering film. These films can block up to 99 percent of harmful UV radiation, ensuring that your drive to work is a safe one. You don’t have to worry about your car windows looking too tinted as UV films can be as dark or as clear as you want them to be.
Dress Up for Protection
The warm weather in Arizona draws people outside, often wearing light clothing that exposes a lot of skin to the sun. This practice can be harmful, especially if you are outdoors for long periods. Wear protective clothing that minimizes your skin exposure to the sun. Add a wide-brimmed hat to your outfit whenever you can and top it off with a pair of shades. A proper hat provides enough shade to protect your face, and most of your neck and sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. UV radiation has been known to damage the eyes, cause early-onset muscular degeneration, as well as contribute to the developments of cataracts. If the sun is particularly harsh, consider using an umbrella for additional protection. They’re called parasols for a reason, and umbrellas have been used to ward off the sun’s rays for centuries.
The All-important Sunscreen
You can’t always stay in the shade or wear protective clothing on every occasion. However, you can always apply sunscreen. Sunscreen allows you to go out in sleeveless shirts and shorts without risking too much UV exposure. Just use it a few minutes before you take off, allowing it to dry and settle on your skin. Sunscreen blocks from 94 to 99 percent of harmful UV rays, and it maintains this protection for a couple of hours or so. That time can be cut in half if you’re exerting yourself in sports and sweating a lot, so make sure to re-apply the sunscreen as often as you need to.
It is great to have sunny days in Arizona, but you need to take measures to protect yourself from the sun. Have yourself tested every so often to make sure problems are spotted early. Skin cancer is easily treatable, but of course, prevention is a lot better than cure.