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Sun Damage Culprit – Windows

by kelly / May, 18 2022 01:30

Photo of a window with sunlight coming through

Yes, your windows can be a major source of damage to your skin. Huh? Why? Well, many windows aren’t treated to protect you from the sun and we tend to think if we’re inside, sun damage isn’t an issue. That seems logical, right? But sitting next to an untreated window means your skin is getting sun damage. Something I’d never thought about. So how do you protect yourself? Read on…

UVB Blocked, UVA Passes Through Windows

Glass blocks UVB rays pretty well but UVA rays pass through. The trouble is UVB rays are associated with sunburn but UVA rays cause skin aging and skin cancer.

So unless they are treated, your windows at home, on airplanes, buses, and trains allow UVA rays to come through. That’s why, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “airline pilots, crew members and even frequent travelers may get more skin cancers than other people.”

That’s also why I wear sunscreen when I’m inside at home – after I brush my teeth in the morning, I apply that sunscreen.

Check out our feature: “Staying Inside? Dermatologists Say You Still Need to Wear Sunscreen”.

UVA Treated Windows

Now windows can be treated to block UVA rays. For example, car windshields are usually treated for this.

While that is awesome, the other windows in the car are not usually treated. So you’d have to add window films on your own. Is that reasonable to expect everyone to do? I must admit I have not treated my own car windows and my guess is most of us haven’t. So while it would be great to do, don’t feel bad if you haven’t done it.

What else could you do? Well, wearing sunscreen, long-sleeved clothing, hats, and sunglasses whether indoors or out are all good ideas.

Now, what about other windows? Like the ones in your house, on planes, on trains, etc. From what I’ve been able to find, it seems most of them aren’t treated either. At least not usually.

In the end, if you can spare the time and effort to treat your windows, great; but, either way, practicing other sun protection methods is a good idea even when you’re indoors.

Suncare Smarts

I know it seems like we’re constantly warning you about ways the sun can get you. I don’t want to be all gloom and doom. In fact, I love the sun and I don’t think anyone should shy away from taking a drive, playing outside, or traveling on a plane because of it. I just think with a little sun knowledge you can do it all and stay skin safe.

For even more sun safety tips check out our Suncare Smarts series.

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