Fall may be right around the corner for some, but not for Houston. The sun will still be stinging us with its UV rays for a couple of more months, so keep your guard up by staying protected. We will debunk some of the most common questions and myths about sun exposure such as this one: Can you get sunburn on a cloudy day? Our facts will surprise you into being more proactive about your sun protection methods.


Question #1: Can you get sunburned in the shade?

Yes, you can! Clouds don’t completely block off the sun’s UV rays. You are at greater risk to get sunburned on a cloudy day than on a sunny day because you are not as aware of being exposed to the sun. You are likely not even wearing sunscreen, leaving you vulnerable to UVA and UVB rays. Cloud type also determines the percentage of the number of UV rays that travel through the cloud.

sunburn myths
  • Grey clouds: 30-35% of rays shine through them.
  • White clouds: 90% of rays shine through.
sunburn through glass

Question #2: Can you get sunburnt through glass?

Yes. This is often overlooked, but the most common way you are exposed to the sun on a daily basis is during your route to work or any lengthy drive for that matter. Glass only blocks one type of UV rays, UVB rays. You are still exposed to UVA rays, which are the strongest. The best thing to do is to apply sunscreen to your face, hands, and forearms. If you don’t believe you need this much amount of protection, just take a look at the left side of your face.

sunburn in the winter

Myth #1: You can’t get sunburned during the winter months.

You are more likely to get a nasty burn during snowy days because snow reflects the sun’s UV rays, increasing your exposure to UV radiation. Always wear sunscreen on your face to avoid a red face after your outside activities.

sunburn through clothes

Myth #2: All clothes cover you up from UV rays.

Clothes do protect you but not all are made to protect you in the same way. Denim will protect you more than a white t-shirt. To know how much a piece of clothing will protect you just hold that piece up towards the sun. If you can see the sun through it, then you will need to apply sunscreen.

sunburn tan

Myth #3: A tan isn’t sun damage.

High amounts of sun exposure leave you at risk of developing skin cancers. While sunburns are the worst, a tan is no better. A tan is a sign that you have been exposed to the sun for an extended amount of time; it signals skin damage.

vitamin D

Myth #4: You need the sun to get vitamin D.

Not necessarily, multivitamins and foods enriched with vitamin C can give you an adequate amount of vitamin D. As long as you are not a complete recluse and you get a bit of sun when you go out to do your daily routine.

young sunburn

Myth #5: Your skin is at greater risk of sun damage when you are young.

We often only think about what’s best for our children as we think they are the most vulnerable. The truth is that most sun damage is acquired as we age. Only worrying about sun exposure during childhood leads to decades of unprotected sun exposure. Wearing SPF daily will reduce a lot of signs of aging such as sunspots and wrinkles.

We hope we debunked any myths you believed were true and also answered your question, Can you get sunburn on a cloudy day? Your skin is the largest organ, therefore it’s important to know how to take care of it well.

Stop by Village Emergency Centers in Clear Creek, or Jersey Village for the quality medical care that you deserve.

Further Reading:

15 Tips For Staying Hydrated in the Heat

 Can Allergies Cause Ear Infections?

Drownings in Houston: How to Prevent Them

Insect Bites You Should Seek Medical Attention For