Written by Stephanie Sutton, M.D. –
It may seem surprising, but yes, we should be wearing sunscreen indoors. If you are spending time near windows and natural sunlight inside, then your skin is at risk of Ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Many glass windows block Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays but not Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. Both UVA and UVB rays can do harm. Ultraviolet radiation is associated with both nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers.
UVA rays are responsible for skin aging. They can contribute to wrinkles, fine lines, and cell changes. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin. They can lead to premature aging and skin cancer. UVA rays are found in tanning beds.
UVB rays are responsible for skin burning. UVB rays damage the outer layers of the skin. UVB rays do not penetrate glass. UV exposure leading to sunburn can increase your chances of melanoma.
Many people are working from home now and have set up home office desks near the window. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your face and other exposed areas as part of your morning routine to protect yourself during the day. Our faces are also getting exposed to blue light from devices such as computers and iPhones. Blue light can cause photoaging and other changes of our skin and eyes.
Another tip – UVA exposure also applies to driving in the car. The windows of the car block UVB rays but not UVA rays. Therefore, wear sunscreen and sun-protective clothing when driving around town and especially on long road trips.
Check out the online store at Sutton Dermatology + Aesthetics for daily sunscreens. Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush and Colorscience Face Shield Glow are great options for women who want to provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays while still looking chic on their Zoom meetings. Sutton Ageless The Sun Guard is ideal for men when indoors or outdoors.
All sunscreens are 15% during the month of May in coordination with Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness month.
Source: Skin Cancer Foundation, UV Radiation & Your Skin
Stephanie Sutton, MD, is a contributing author to the Sutton Dermatology Blog. Stephanie Sutton is a psychiatrist and she focuses on wellness.