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Grab the sunscreen for those summer drives

Thu, 16 Jun 2011

You can get sunburned while driving a convertible, but driving with the top up can also result in sun damage to the skin.

New research from the University of Washington suggests that people in the United States are more likely to develop skin cancer, such as melanoma and merkel-cell carcinoma, on the left side of their bodies, likely as a result of the fact that the left arm receives more ultraviolet rays while driving.

Studies by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology show that, when skin cancer shows up on one side of the body, 52 percent of melanoma cases and 53 percent of merkel-cell carcinomas occur on the left.

Study coauthor Paul Nghiem says that UVA rays, though less intense than UVB rays, penetrate glass and can still damage skin. People prone to skin cancer or those who spend lots of time driving should consider applying sunscreen before getting behind the wheel.

Looks like the beach isn't the only place to slather on sunscreen this summer.

By Julie Alvin