7 Tips for Skin Cancer Prevention & Protection for Professional Truck Drivers


Post Date - May 17, 2023

As a professional truck driver, you may feel that you spend the majority of your time inside your cab and out of the sun's harmful rays. But don’t underestimate the time you’re outside doing inspections, checking your load, waiting for a signature or other times inside the cab that expose you to UV radiation that you may not think about. UV radiation is a leading cause of skin cancer, which is why it's essential for truck drivers to take steps to protect themselves. Montgomery Transport wants everyone to stay protected from excessive sun exposure as we head into summer so check out our 7 tips below.

Exposure inside the cab

Originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine on April 19, 2012, this photo shows the difference between the two sides of a 69-year-old truck driver’s face after years of unprotected sun exposure. Sitting in the driver’s seat, you may not realize how much UV radiation you’re absorbing through the window, but this photo tells the story for you!

Understanding Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a disease that affects the skin's cells, usually developing on skin exposed to sunlight, but it can occur on other areas as well. There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Of these, melanoma is the deadliest.

7 Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

To reduce the risk of skin cancer, truck drivers can take several preventive measures:

1. Wear Protective Clothing

Wear protective clothing that covers your arms, legs, and neck, such as long-sleeved shirts, hats, and sunglasses. Look for clothing made of breathable fabrics that can protect against UV rays while keeping you from overheating.

2. Use Sunscreen

This may seem obvious but many people overlook it, especially when they think they’re protected in the truck. Make sure your sunscreen is water-resistant and has an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every two hours while under the sun. You can store sunscreen in your cab to apply before going outside.

3. Control Your Environment

When you're in your cab, you can reduce your sun exposure by closing your windows, using sun visors, adding an adhesive window tint, and keeping your vehicle's air conditioning systems running.

4. Regularly Check Your Skin

Perform a skin self-exam once a month to check for unusual moles, lumps, or sores on your skin. See the graphic here from the American Academy of Dermatology for some helpful guidelines for what to watch for.

5. Take Regular Breaks

Long periods of direct sun exposure can significantly increase your risk of skin cancer. Taking regular breaks to step inside, take cover under shade or in a shaded vehicle to reduce your exposure to harmful rays can make a significant difference. In addition to stepping out of the sun regularly, ensure that your truck cab is equipped with window shades or curtains to reduce sun exposure.

6. Protect Your Eyes

Did you know your eyes are just as vulnerable to UV damage as your skin is? Wearing sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays can help protect your eyes during long hauls. Make sure to look for lenses labeled as “UV400” or those that offer 100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

7. Stay Hydrated and Keep Your Skin Moisturized

Dehydration and dry skin make your skin more vulnerable to damage from the sun. Make sure to drink plenty of water while on the road and keep your skin moisturized to maintain its elasticity and strength.

Conclusion

As a professional truck driver, you may be exposed to harmful UV rays on a regular basis, increasing the risk of skin cancer. By taking preventive measures such as wearing protective clothing and eyewear, using sunscreen, and controlling your environment as much as possible, you can lower your risk of developing skin cancer. Remember, early detection is key to treatment success, so make sure to perform regular self-exams and see your dermatologist if you detect any abnormality.

If you’d like more information about opportunities to join a carrier that prioritizes both your physical wellness and career health, connect with Montgomery Transport today. From all of us, stay safe and healthy while on the road!