During the winter, people generally spend less time out in the sun and more time inside with family. But, that doesn’t mean the risk of skin cancer disappears during these months.
There are still multiple risk factors for skin cancer that exist in winter. The most prominent of these factors include:
Sun Exposure Through Windows
If you’re planning to spend all day indoors on a cozy winter day, you may not think to apply sunscreen. However, over 50% of harmful UVA rays from the sun can reach your skin through window glass! So, unless all of the blinds are closed, you’re still exposed to the sun while you spend time inside and, as a result, increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Even on days that you’ll spend mainly indoors, make sure to apply sunscreen to your face and exposed areas of your body. If you spend most of the day near a window (if your desk is next to a window, for example) reapplying sunscreen every couple of hours will provide the most reliable protection against skin cancer.
UV Rays on Cloudy Days
On cloudy winter days, the sun’s harsh rays are out of sight, but shouldn’t be out of mind. Even when it’s cloudy, UV radiation from the sun can reach your skin and promote damage. In fact, clouds can reflect and, therefore, intensify UV rays, leading to a higher risk of skin cancer on cloudy days. So, even if the sun is hidden behind the clouds, make sure to apply (and reapply) sunscreen.
Use of Tanning Beds
People who miss their sun-kissed skin in the winter may use tanning beds to regain a golden glow. However, tanning bed use comes with a major risk of developing skin cancer. Tanning beds administer UV radiation to the skin that can cause cell damage and lead to skin cancer.
At The Bowman Institute, we offer screening skin examinations and a variety of leading-edge skin cancer treatments. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!