Protect Your Skin: 5 Sun Safety Tips for Farmers

Aug 5, 2019 2 min read

The skin-saving advice of staying out of the sun during the midday hours isn’t practical for farmers. Likely, you’ll need to maximize every minute of daylight during the growing and harvest seasons. Still, sun safety is a must. Nearly 5 million Americans are treated for skin cancer each year. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, farmers may be at higher risk.

So while your work may require you to be outdoors, you can still use these sun safety tips to help protect your skin from harmful rays.

1. Make Sunscreen Part of Your Daily Routine

Applying sunscreen should be as routine as grabbing your morning coffee. Even if you leave the house before sunup, you should still slather on the SPF — even on overcast days. The EPA estimates that up to 80 percent of the sun's rays pass through clouds.

For the best protection, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF, and look for a waterproof option that’ll stand up to sweat. Don’t forget to apply to your ears, neck and hands, and wear a lip balm with SPF. Carry sunscreen with your supplies so you can reapply during breaks, adding a fresh layer every two hours.

2. Choose UV-Protective Clothing

Don’t rely on sunscreen alone for skin protection. Believe it or not, clothing is actually your best defense for sun safety. Look for work clothing that has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50 or higher. You can also treat your favorite gear with laundry additives to enhance its UPF.

3. Wear Sun-Blocking Accessories

Working in the heat can take a toll on your body if you’re not prepared. Make a wide-brimmed hat with a neck flap and sunglasses with UV protection part of your everyday wardrobe. Sunglasses will protect your peepers and add extra protection for the skin around your eyes, a common place for skin cancer. Wear a cooling, sweat-wicking neck gaiter or buff that can be pulled up on your face.

4. Practice Sun Safety When You’re Driving

If you spend a lot of time in vehicles like trucks or tractors, they may need to have UV-tinted windows. If you have a habit of perching an arm on an open window, either change the practice or make sure your arm is adequately protected with clothing and sunscreen.

5. Check Your Skin Regularly

You are at a greater risk of skin cancer if you work outdoors and have a history of sunburn. That’s why it’s important to connect with a dermatologist, who can evaluate your skin and help you monitor any concerns. If you notice anything unusual, like an irritated spot or a growing lesion, see a dermatologist right away. Early detection gives you the best chance of curing skin cancer. And while you’re at it, schedule regular health checkups to help stay healthy and avoid costly delays during your busy season.

After Protecting Your Skin, Protect Your Farm

Farm Bureau wishes you a safe harvest season! Connect with your Farm Bureau agent today to make sure your operation is properly covered.


Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.