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Why pilots should wear more sunscreen

6th January 2015

Any good dermatologist will tell you that one of the best anti-ageing tips is to wear strong UV protection for your skin throughout the year. A recent study has been released that looks into the effect of UVA radiation on pilots while flying.

The study

The study was conducted by the University of California in San Francisco and involved measuring the amount of UV radiation present in airplane cockpits during flight.

The study came from recent findings that there was an increased incidence of melanoma among pilots and cabin crews. It is well known that UVA radiation plays an important role in melanoma (skin cancer) and causes cell damage.

The results

UVA Damage on Pilots

Source: https://s.yimg.com/os/publish-images/finance/2014-02-17/32a68fb0-97dd-11e3-b2fa-83b38391ed19_Fotolia_50224854_Subscription_L.jpg

It was found that 56.6 minutes at 30,000 provided the same amount of radiation as that of a 20 minutes session in a tanning bed. In fact, flying at 9,000m above sea level (the height of most commercial aircrafts) the level of UV radiation is double that of the ground.

The radiation could be even higher if flying over areas that would reflect UV rays, including thick clouds and snow fields. The windshields in airplane are clearly not designed well enough to block UVA radiation and can have devastating effects on pilots' health.

Take responsibility for your skin

Although it's clear that certain jobs may hold increased risk of skin damage due to levels of sun exposure, you should always take responsibility for protecting your own skin. Wearing a daily moisturiser with SPF 30 will provide your skin with a barrier from sun rays, regardless of how much you may need it.

It's also important to regularly check your body for any irregularities or changes to skin texture or colour. Talk to a dermatologist for more specific recommendations for your skin and whether they can recommend any treatments that will give your skin a bit of pampering.

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