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Sun Block Not Just for the Beach Warns Care Chemist

Sun Block Not Just for the Beach Warns Care Chemist as Research Shows Kiwi Drivers Could Be at Risk of Skin Cancer

Care Chemist, the country’s fastest growing community pharmacy group, is reminding New Zealander drivers to use adequate sun protection when behind the wheel this summer or risk the health consequences. The warning comes as new research emerged from the United States this month, indicating that skin cancer is more likely to develop on the side of the body facing the driver’s window.

According to the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the side of the driver’s head, neck, arm and hand facing the side window receive up to six times the dose of UVA radiation as someone sitting on the other side of the car. The resulting skin cancers were much more common in men, a statistic that is thought to be a reflection of differing driving habits between the sexes.

‘New Zealanders are well aware of the need to slip, slop, slap when they are on the beach or participating in other outdoor activities but most people don’t consider that they are also vulnerable to the sun when they are driving,’ explains Care Chemist spokesperson, Tania Adams. ‘Numerous studies have shown that car drivers are exposed to a large amount of UVA rays that can penetrate driver’s side window glass or pass easily through open windows, sunroofs or convertible tops. These researchers have also observed that significant photo-damage, precancers and possibly skin cancers occur on the areas of the face and body that are closest to the driver’s side window. In the United States this is the left hand side, whereas here in New Zealand it would be the right hand side of the body.’

According to Tania, there are a number of steps that drivers can take to minimise the risk of sun damage while driving.

‘One of the most effective and recommended ways to reduce the amount of damaging UVA rays entering the car is to laminate or tint the windows,’ says Tania. ‘On top of that, drivers should always make sure that an effective, high SPF sun cream is applied in the correct amounts to any exposed parts of the body. When driving, this is most commonly the face, neck, arms and hands. Sun protection should be applied every couple of hours, this being especially important if the driver is undertaking a long journey or is travelling in the middle of the day, when the temperatures are at their highest.’

Care Chemists throughout the country will be on hand throughout summer to offer advice on sun care and to raise awareness of the health risks associated with inadequate protection. Come in and talk to us at Care Chemist today about THE TEASPOON RULE and discuss any questions or concerns you may have about your current sun care regime.

For more information on Care Chemist, visit www.carechemist.co.nz

ENDS

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