Can you get sunburnt through a window?
Updated: May 30, 2022
Yes, it is possible to be sunburnt through a window!
When we think about sun exposure, we normally think of spending time outdoors, like at the beach or a park. However, it is also possible to be sunburnt through a window. This includes the windows on buildings, as well as the side and rear windows on cars.
There are two types of UV radiation which can cause damage to our skin – UVA and UVB.
UVB radiation penetrates the top layer of the skin, causing your skin to turn red and burn, and also plays a role in the development of skin cancer. UVA radiation won’t cause your skin to turn red - but penetrates deep into the skin and is a major contributor to skin cancer.
Additionally, you are not getting the health benefits of sunlight behind glass. Vitamin D is produced by the body when the skin absorbs UVB rays, so skin exposed to the sun indoors through a glass window will not produce vitamin D.
What does this mean?
If you are in a car or near a building window, while your skin may not turn red, UVA rays are penetrating deep into your skin causing harmful skin damage.
“Vitamin D is produced when the skin absorbs UVB rays. Most glass windows block UVB rays meaning you won't reap the health benefits.