UVA Rays in the Winter
In the midwest, we move to spend more of our time indoors and the winter approaches. Even with this annual migration inside, I still remind my patients to apply sunscreen everyday. The response I hear commonly is, “but I don’t go outside this time of year so I don’t wear sunscreen.” Truth be told, our skin still gets a tremendous amount of UV light even in the dead of winter.
The Importance of Protection
That UV light is what causes skin cancer (UVA and UVB) and signs of aging like wrinkles and dark sun spots (UVA). Going about our normal daily activities, like driving to work or walking the dog, leads to a cumulative very high UV exposure. Unlike UVB rays, UVA rays pass through glass and affect the skin. Clear glass allows 75% of UVA through, while reflective and tinted glass allow only 25%-50% of UVA rays to pass through. The most protective glass is laminated or UV-coated glass that filters out 95%-99% of all UVA rays. Unfortunately, most residential and commercial buildings do not have UVA protection. Therefore, if your office desk is anywhere near a window, your skin is getting a heavy dose of UVA light.
Use blinds, shades, and tinted glass, and increase your distance from windows and doors to protect your skin from chronic daily UVA exposures. Remember, it’s UVA light that AGES your skin! Plus, recent research shows that light emitted by our computer screens and cell phones also causes signs of aging like dark spots and melasma.
Choosing a Daily Sunscreen
What sunscreen is a good choice for your skin for daily purposes? You should look for at least an SPF 30 and one that contains zinc. George Dermatology offers a large selection of sunscreens that provide excellent protection for year-round wear so you don’t have to feel or smell like a buttered coconut in the winter in St. Louis.
Call George Dermatology today. We are happy to help you find a sunscreen that you will look forward to wearing daily to keep your skin looking younger than your years.