The 7 Worst Jobs for Your Skin + How to Protect It
Your job may cause you stress—but it may also be stressing out your skin and ushering in wrinkles, dark spots, and sagging early. Even worse, it may be putting you at risk for skin cancer, says Darrell Rigel, MD, medical director at Schweiger Dermatology in New York City and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at New York University Medical Center. The most important thing you can do is protect your skin, even if the sun is the last thing on your mind. Read ahead for Dr. Rigel’s picks for the top jobs that quicken the clock to age your skin prematurely and learn how to protect it.
In a high-rise: Office workers
Why? Regular 9-5ers with indoor corporate jobs seem unlikely candidates for being high at risk for skin cancer, but research shows that melanoma occurs when people are exposed to bursts of sun. For those that are indoors all week that burst of sun on the weekends could be dangerous.
In the air: Pilots and flight attendants
Why? It may be the radiation from the high altitude in-flight that ups your risk similar to an indoor tanning bed session, reports a new study in JAMA Dermatology.
Battling a blaze: Firefighters
Why? Exposure to noxious fumes from flames can damage your skin cells’ DNA and possibly prompt skin cancer.
Working the land: Farmers and oil-refinery workers
Why? They’re at risk of non-melanoma skin cancer due to the nuclear radiation they come in contact with.
In the car: Truck drivers
Why? Just like UV rays can enter office windows, they come in on your driver’s side window, too. Research shows that people who drive long distances—like truck drivers—have more signs of aging on their left side (the side exposed to the sun).
So, how can you protect your skin?
Safeguarding your skin is like going into battle—but the enemy is UV rays. Use Rigel’s W.A.R. acronym:
W: Wear protective clothing, hats, and lightweight materials (scarves and hats are very chic options!)
A: Avoid the midday sun (it’s the harshest)
R: Regular SPF use (that means every day!)