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Being a trucker may not be for the faint of heart, as it means long hours, being away from home, and not seeing your family for days. However, there are lots of benefits, such as good pay. Plus, it’s one of the most high-demand jobs in the US currently, so it’s effortless to pick and choose the jobs you want.

One thing that truckers need to be aware of, however, is sun damage or truck driver face. But what exactly is it, and how do you prevent it?

What is sun damage?

A truck driver driving in the sun.
Truck driver | Getty Images

Anyone who has had sunburn can tell you immediately what sun damage is. It’s when the sun burns your skin. Yet that beautiful ball of light in the sky that we can’t live without can be harming you even if it doesn’t leave any noticeable damage.

This largely happens due to UVA and UVB rays that the sun emits. UVA rays are strongly connected to tanning beds, but the sun throws them out as well. UVB rays are what often leave you with that killer sunburn that takes a few days to fully heal.

Apply sunscreen daily

This may seem like a given when you hit the beach, but it’s just as important for when you’re out for a long drive. Truck Driver Academy reports that the left side of your face can really take a lot of heat as you’re traveling from place to place. Sunscreen will help protect your delicate skin, so be sure to apply it often. 

Using a higher SPF rating may seem like a bit of overkill, especially since you may not feel like you’re directly in the sun, but it helps. A broad-spectrum sunscreen is ideal, because it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. 

Wear clothing that covers your skin

Sunscreen is great, but wearing clothing that covers your skin is another great tip to help protect your skin. Things like hats, neck gaiters, visors, or even shirts that cover your neck work great. There are companies which now make clothing that is UPF 50+, meaning it will block some of those pesky UVA and UVB rays better than other types of clothing.

Wear sunglasses

Our eyes are precious, and it’s important to shield them from the sun’s harmful rays. Since using sunscreen or clothing isn’t an option, that’s where sunglasses come in. Polarized sunglasses have become very popular over the years, especially if you’re driving in the rain. 

Just make sure that the glasses specifically say that they protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays. Otherwise, you may look incredibly cool, but that’s about it.

Avoid sun exposure during peak hours

This is one of the most difficult tips for a trucker to follow, but it really helps if you can. The peak hours for the sun are typically between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM. 

For many truckers, that’s also their peak driving hours, meaning it may not be possible to avoid driving during this time. If you can’t because you’re on a tight schedule, then just make sure you’re utilizing the other tips on this list.

Schedule a skin cancer screening

Of all the tips on this list, this is probably the most important. Whether you’re new to trucking, or have been proudly driving a rig for years, you’ve likely accumulated some sun damage on your skin.

While skin cancer may not be fully preventable, it is more treatable if you catch it early. So schedule an appointment with your doctor regularly to get screened before hitting the road again.


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