Being outdoors increases sun exposure, which means that ways outdoor workers can prevent skin cancer are important to know. If you have a job that takes you outside the majority of the time, you naturally spend more time in the sunshine, which can cause all sorts of issues, including an increased risk of skin cancer. By taking appropriate measures to protect yourself, you can essentially ward off the cellular changes that lead to skin cancer. Here are some ways outdoor workers can prevent skin cancer. Use them every day and you can feel better about your job in the great outdoors.
1. Wear Sunscreen
It might seem obvious, but one of the best ways outdoor workers can prevent skin cancer is to wear sunscreen each and every day. Even workers with the best intentions might not be doing all they could to protect themselves. Sunscreen must be reapplied every couple of hours, so if you work outside all day, make sure you put it on again at each two hour mark.
2. Set up Temporary Shelter
Some outdoor jobs might make it possible to set up a temporary source of shade. Maybe you can put up a canopy or rig up a large umbrella you can stand underneath to keep the sun off your skin. If that’s possible, make sure you choose shelter that reflects UV rays so you know they aren’t soaking through the fabric and causing unknown damage. This works perfectly if you’ll be in one place and the shelter can easily be moved as you need to.
3. Wear Protective Clothing
Many types of clothing can help block UV rays, which reduces the amount of sun exposure your body gets while you’re on the job. Look for closely woven fabrics and wear as much as you can comfortably manage. That includes long sleeved shirts, pants, socks and etc. The more skin you cover, the less damage the sun is able to do. If you have to wear a uniform, talk to your boss about simple changes that would offer more protection.
4. Put on a Hat
If you’re allowed to don a hat at work, it’s a great (and easy) way to block your face, neck and ears from sun exposure. A wide brimmed hat is your best bet because it offers the most protection. There are loads of really cute hats out there and you can choose one that complements your work attire and makes you feel good about being out in the sunshine.
5. Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses
I don’t know about you, but I worry most about sun damage on my face. After all, if I have to have skin cancer removed or I get a bunch of sun related wrinkles, it’s going to be very hard to cover up. That’s why it’s a good idea to wear sunglasses any time you spend your workday outside. Keep them close at hand if you go in and out throughout the course of your day. The right pair blocks damage to the skin around your eyes and protects your retinas from sun damage at the same time.
6. Seek Shade
If you can’t construct a temporary source of shade, try to take a break in natural shade as often as you can. Obviously you would never want to compromise your position by taking too many breaks, but talk to your boss about working out a plan that allows you to have a respite from the sun as often as is possible.
If you have a fluid schedule and can make it work, it pays to schedule your outdoor time during off peak UV hours. In most parts of the world, that’s before 10 am and after 4 pm. If you can set your time out in the sun during those safer hours, you lower your exposure and thereby protect your skin.
Do you work outdoors? How do you protect yourself from the sun?