For many people, wearing sunscreen when going outdoors is a normal thing. That’s because the human skin needs protection against the harmful rays of the sun. However, experts are now saying that we should also wear sunscreen even if we are staying indoors.
With the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, many people are homebound. Most are working from home since many businesses and establishments have shut down to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Since many are staying indoors, most people do not feel the need to wear sunblock.
Interestingly, the harmful rays of the sun can penetrate windows and glass, and so experts are urging everyone to wear sunscreen even if they do not plan to go outside and are just spending most of their waking hours within the confines of their homes.
“Standard glass windows block UVB but not UVA rays, which can penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB [rays], [and] are the main contributing factor to photo-aging — which are changes seen as dark spots, wrinkles, and leathery textured skin,” California-based dermatologist Joyce Park recently told Allure.
UVA rays have been proven to have negative effects on the skin. They can lead to formation of wrinkles, discoloration and even sagging skin. The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics also indicated that UVA rays play a role in skin cancer development because they can penetrate more deeply into the skin compared to UVB rays.
It is also worth noting that there are about 500 times more UVA rays in sunlight compared to UVB. And since most glass windows do not block UVA rays, this means many people are at risk of getting skin cancer even though they are not staying outdoors.
Dermatology RGN Emma Coleman explained to Metro.co.uk that sun damage through windows is also called ambient solar UV radiation and most people are actually exposed to this regularly as they go about their daily routines.
“Many studies have provided evidence that cumulative and excessive exposure to UV radiation can be one of the causes of skin cancers, skin damage, premature skin aging and sun-related eye disorders,” Coleman said.
Aside from wearing sunscreen, experts also recommend decking out windows in special protective films that filter out UVA rays. Investing in these protective window films and wearing sunblock will not only protect the skin from aging, it will also lower the risk of skin cancers, according to Coleman.