IC Safety from Protective Insurance Company
May 2013 An exclusive publication for Protective's independent contractors
Stop skin damage before it starts
During his 30-year career, Bill McElligott logged millions of miles behind the wheel of his truck. However, the years took a toll on him in an unexpected way. Over time, the left side of his face grew noticeably different from the other side and developed raised, brown bumps. The culprit: years of sun damage resulting in a diagnosis of unilateral dermatoheliosis.
A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology looked at nearly 85,000 cases of skin cancer and determined more cases involved the left arm and left side of the face. As a truck driver, you are at a higher risk for sun damage, melanoma and skin cancer on the left side of your body because of the amount of time spent in the driver's seat next to a window that may intensify the sun's effects.
You can take steps to help prevent skin damage from the sun. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day. The sun's rays can penetrate through clouds so you should still apply sunscreen even on overcast days. You can also wear long sleeves to protect your arms. This extra layer of protection is especially helpful between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun's rays are strongest, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Some experts may recommend window tints as a way to help block the sun's UV rays. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMSCR) Part 393.60 on glazing and window construction does allow tinting as long as the light passing through is not less than 70 percent of the normal occurrence. Additionally, some states may have stricter tinting laws than FMCSR. While tinting is legal, it's not safe and does affect visibility in many situations. Use other skin damage prevention techniques rather than tinting.
It's also important to regularly check your skin for discoloration, new growths and changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps and birthmarks. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with a doctor to be examined as soon as possible.
Use these tips to help stop skin damage before it starts.
Free download: "Stop Skin Damage" handout
Keep these tips handy to remind yourself of simple habits that can reduce your risk of skin damage. Download handout >>


Join the WellCard Savings program for more health resources
Protective offers you the opportunity to participate in the WellCard Savings program. This free program helps offset the cost of medical expenses and includes access to an online health library with resources for dieting, exercising and overall wellness. Learn more and enroll >>