KKTV 11 News | Colorado Springs, Pueblo | 11 For Health

Don't Forget To Wear Sunscreen While Driving

By: KKTV
By: KKTV

A new picture just released is showing the dangers of the sun’s powerful rays even while you are behind the wheel.

In the photo is a 69-year-old truck driver. There is a surprisingly visible difference between the two sides of his face.

That’s because he spent 28 years driving on the road, with his left side constantly exposed to the sun through the glass window.

Scientists say the sun’s ultraviolet rays caused his skin to wrinkle, a condition called “unilateral dermatoheliosis”.

The extreme exposure puts the truck driver at a higher risk for skin cancer.

We spoke to Colorado Springs drivers. Most said they would never think of wearing sunscreen while on their daily commute or even a long road trip.

But after seeing the shocking picture, they are going to start.

"It was awful, I just never imagined that one side could be that different from the other just from driving, said Lorraine Steele.

Steele was the only one 11 News talked to who said she does wear sunscreen while on long trips. But she thinks she will start wearing it more often, even on daily commutes.

Other women we spoke with said it’s a new concept to them.

"I wear makeup that has sunscreen in it, but not even on long trips, I never even thought about it,” said Debbie Seamster.

But they say after seeing the picture, they are going to start a new habit.

"I would now be sure if I'm going to be in the car especially for a long distance or long period of time, I would put some sunscreen on,” Janice Maloney.

The picture appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.

And just remember, you are probably getting more sun than you think.

If you commute 30 minutes a day total to and from work, that adds up to about 10 hours of sun exposure a month, to just the left side of your face and your left arm.

And it’s even more important here in Colorado. Our atmosphere is thinner here, so we’re not as protected from the sun’s rays as we would be at sea level.

Last year 11 News told you about a study that found you should wear sunscreen while in your vehicle.

The study says while driving, your left arm gets five times the amount of U-V rays than your right arm does.

It says when it comes to the more common, but lethal Melanoma cells, 51 percent were reported on the left side of the face, 53 percent on the left arm and 52 percent on the left leg.

For the rare but aggressive Merkel cell Carcinoma 52 percent of cases were reported on the left side of the face and 55 percent on the left arm.


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