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Help me block out the sun!
March 15, 2012 10:55 AM   Subscribe

I need a way to block sunlight (UVA/UVB) on the driver's side window of a car while I'm driving. Difficulty: I'm driving.

I've got an annoying case of PMLE this year, and the sun rash keeps showing up on the top of my right forearm and the inside of my left -- the culprit is obviously the car.

Can anyone recommend a window shade/tint that'll block UVA/UVB while still allowing me to see out? Visibility is important -- I don't want to hit anybody because I can't see. I'd be OK with getting the windows professionally tinted if necessary, but PMLE is (hopefully) a temporary thing and it seems like there might be a press-on / roll-down solution, so I figured I'd ask the hivemind first. Recommendations for window tinting are also welcome!
posted by vorfeed to Shopping (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I thought all modern car windows already had a UV coating on them? Wouldn't we all be horribly sunburned on one side otherwise?
posted by starvingartist at 10:57 AM on March 15, 2012


Fobby moms like mine wear sun sleeves on their arms while driving.
posted by peachfuzz at 11:00 AM on March 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Can you just wear sunscreen?
posted by 200burritos at 11:04 AM on March 15, 2012


I thought all modern car windows already had a UV coating on them? Wouldn't we all be horribly sunburned on one side otherwise?

I'm pretty sure they do, but unfortunately my sun sensitivity right now can best be described in terms between "ha-ha-you're-fucking-kidding-me" and "infinite". What's on the car is clearly enough to prevent normal sun reactions, but not this one.

Same with the sunscreen: I'm wearing 50-70 SPF UVA/UVB baby sunscreen, a long-sleeve shirt, an SPF-treated hat, and a hoodie. This seems to work when I'm on foot, but driving for a couple hours in the sun is still causing a breakout (also, driving in 3 layers in the sun kind of sucks).
posted by vorfeed at 11:14 AM on March 15, 2012


starvingartist, the laminated glass used in windshields filter out ~95%UVA-UVB, the non laminated side windows blocks most of UVB, but only filters about 30%-40% UVA. It's why sun shinning trough the driver's side will slightly activate transition lenses.

To the question at large, you can get another 20-30% UVA protection by tinting the side window, just make sure it complies with any local and federal laws regarding viability. Don't know the costs, but local auto shops will be able to help.

partial cite
posted by edgeways at 11:17 AM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have no idea of the efficacy of this product, but it was recommended to me by a friend who (like me) has issues with photosensitivity. Because I am lazy I have not purchased it, so can't give a trip report.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:27 AM on March 15, 2012


Check with your local laws, but some areas allow otherwise-forbidden levels of side window tinting if you have a doctor's note explaining it's for a verified medical reason, sorta equivilent to the doctor's note for handicapped hang-tags/licence plates etc.
posted by easily confused at 11:42 AM on March 15, 2012


Baby stores often have peel and stick style tinting. Amazon has something similar.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 12:52 PM on March 15, 2012


This is off subject a bit but are you taking vitamin A supplements. It can cause sensitivity to the sun. A friend of mine would break out in a rash if she was in the sun more than a 5 minutes and that was the cause. She quit taking it and was back to normal within a week or two. You might want to check any medications/supplements to see if that's a side effect.
posted by stray thoughts at 1:50 PM on March 15, 2012


Related to stray thoughts' suggestion: I once had a sunscreen reaction that was photosensitive: it occurred quickly, and only on the driver's side arm. Discontinued the brand of sunscreen, and never had a problem. You sound like you've got this diagnosed properly, but just throwing that in in the event that it might help someone.

I agree with peel and stick windows, or ultra lightweight UV-protected sports pullovers for the car.
posted by deludingmyself at 2:12 PM on March 15, 2012


This is off subject a bit but are you taking vitamin A supplements.

I'm not taking vitamin A, except as part of a plain-jane multivitamin (which says it has 3000 IU / 60% daily value of A). The only medication I'm taking is Allegra, along with a small handful of other vitamins (magnesium, D3, B Complex, and fish oil). I don't take the vitamins all that regularly, though, and I didn't change any before or during the time this sensitivity appeared (the Allegra is what my allergist recommended to try to knock the sensitivity down a bit). I've been avoiding Aleve and other known sun-sensitizers, too.

So far I really like peachfuzz's sun sleeves idea -- I'll definitely order some of those. I'm reluctant to try the baby style peel-and-stick windows because it's the driver's side window, and they're quite dark... I'd hate to hit someone (or attract police attention).

Please keep the ideas coming!
posted by vorfeed at 2:24 PM on March 15, 2012


Definitely check local laws about window tints if you go that route. The driver's side window often has a very specific statement about what max percentage that particular window can be tinted, and while I've seen folks with tint way past the legal limit, I wouldn't chance it.
posted by NikitaNikita at 6:12 PM on March 15, 2012


the sun rash keeps showing up on the top of my right forearm and the inside of my left

Hmmm. If you're in the US, driving a left-hand-drive car, with sunlight coming through the driver's window on your left, I would expect a sun-rash to develop on the top of your left forearm and the inside of your right. What's going on?
posted by exphysicist345 at 7:38 PM on March 15, 2012


I just had Solar Gard ultra performance nano film put on my side and rear car windows - it lets through 40% of visible light (Vegas sun!) plus blocks a high percent of UV etc and I'm delighted with it.The installer also offered a 70% tint that was almost clear that some people use on windshields, but apparently nevada law prohibits windshield tinting unless one has a medical exemption.
posted by zepheria at 8:22 PM on March 15, 2012


Hmmm. If you're in the US, driving a left-hand-drive car, with sunlight coming through the driver's window on your left, I would expect a sun-rash to develop on the top of your left forearm and the inside of your right. What's going on?

What's going on is I typed my hands backwards. :P
posted by vorfeed at 10:20 PM on March 15, 2012


My car got broken in to, and the $60 window replacement I got from the junkyard had a sheet of something like this on it. It was practically invisible, yet it blocked a TON of heat coming into the car. The 3M stuff claims to block 99% of UV, and combined with the percentage that the window naturally blocks, that is effectively almost all of it.
posted by gjc at 4:29 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks, guys! I drove into town yesterday and broke out again within the hour, so I've decided to bite the bullet and get a pro-installed UVA/B window film a la gjc and Sidhedevil's links. It can't hurt even after the sensitivity goes away (it is going to go away, right?!), and it'll help a lot in the meantime.
posted by vorfeed at 12:06 PM on March 16, 2012


Yikes! And from your profile, you're in New Mexico, which makes it hard to avoid the sun....

It looks like paragraph c., section (3) E. of this might help: http//home.pcisys.net/~bpc/auto_law/tint/tint_nm.html
posted by easily confused at 9:05 AM on March 17, 2012


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