On Your Side: Sun Protection

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May 3, 2007

You always hear that you need to put on sunscreen when you go to the beach or the pool, but you may want to start wearing in a place you might not have thought of: your car.

It could end up saving your life.

Some people mistakenly feel like they are protected from those dangerous UV rays when they are in the car. That couldn't be further from the truth.

In fact, the light coming through the windows can give you sunburn or, even worse, cancer.

You can put on enough tint on windows to prevent the UV rays that cause sunburn. But chances are you don't have any protection from what are called UVA rays, which cause aging and, yes, skin cancer.

A lot of the problems happen on people's left sides--the left arm or left side of the face--because that's the side the sun hits people driving.

"Over time, we see more skin cancer on the left side. Especially in men, because they want to be the driver," said Dr. Loretta Davis, MCG dermatologist.

To protect yourself properly from those UVA rays, don't just pay attention to the SPF labels. You need to look to see if there is any specific UVA protection in the sunscreen.

Dermatologists recommend you put in on every day.

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