We at Star Nation happened upon an article about a month ago that really fascinated us. Of course, we were all aware of the common truck driver health issues that are constantly written about. These include things like sleep deprivation, lack of exercise and depression. The one thing that never crossed any of our minds was that driving a truck for many years could lead to skin damage if the truck driver doesn’t properly protect themselves.
In this article, written by CBS news, it shows a picture of an unidentified trucker that was published in the latest New England Journal of Medicine. Due to his trucking for over 28 years, the left side of his face, which is the side that is exposed to sun through the driver’s side window, developed a disease called unilateral dermatoheliosis. This disease has caused the skin on the left side of his face to thicken over the past 25 years.
You might have thought that sun protection couldn’t become a trucker health problem, seeing how there is a glass between the sun and your face. Most think that the ultraviolet rays that cause skin damage don’t penetrate through glass. It turns out that there are different sorts of ultraviolet rays, and it’s a particular type that makes sun protection a truck driver health issue.
The key lies in the difference between UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are the type that most people think about in terms of skin damage, because they cause sun burns. UVA is sort of the forgotten sibling of UVB, because its effects aren’t as immediate, but these rays penetrate the deep layers of the skin. They penetrate through glass as well, while UVB rays don’t, meaning UVB rays cause this particular trucker health problem.
Of course, none of us want to develop any skin problems that could be avoided. One problem that’s purely cosmetic is wrinkling, but there are the more serious issues such as skin cancer. Thankfully, just like with any problem there are some solutions you can try to better protect yourself.
– During your hauls, apply sunscreen to your exposed skin. It’s important that the sunscreen provide not just UVB protection (this is common), but UVB as well. UVB rays are the problem here.
– Use a wide-brimmed trucker hat. The wide brim will help make sure that it provides coverage for all areas of your face.
– Carry an umbrella when you’re out of the truck (just kidding – sort of).
It’s a good thing that all of these types of truck driver health issues are coming to the forefront. This wasn’t the case a few years ago. So make sure to take advantage of all the resources and tips that are offered now. We want our Star Nation fans to be happy and healthy.