Clothing That's More Than a Fashion Statement
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Ashley Curtis MD, DermatologistSunscreen is very important on a day to day basis to protect yourself. But we also need to think about things that we can do to cover other areas of our body. So sun protective clothing is something that's newer on the market, and I think it's a really great thing for people to use.
Ashley Curtis MD, Dermatologist contIt's easier, sometimes, than applying sunscreen. And it provides great protection for you. There's something called the UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor, that rates how much a piece of clothing actually protects you from the sun's rays.
Ashley Curtis MD, Dermatologist contNormally, you'll find clothing that ranges between UPF of 30 and 50. That gives you very good protection from the sun. Things that are darker in color are better. And actually, there's a tighter weave, so a denim-type material, as opposed to something that's a looser weave,
Ashley Curtis MD, Dermatologist contis actually better for protecting you. If you're going to the beach, you want to absolutely protect yourself from the sun. So swimsuits are made, nowadays, that have an ultraviolet protection factor, or UPF, rating. So if you can buy swim clothing
Ashley Curtis MD, Dermatologist contthat has a UPF of 30 or 50, you're taking the first to protect yourself with your clothing. Hats are extremely important to protect the scalp. Number one, it's very hard to get sunscreen on your scalp. In fact, it's almost nearly impossible unless you have a lot of exposed scalp.
Ashley Curtis MD, Dermatologist contSo hats are a great way to protect your scalp. Ideally, if you can wear a hat that's a wide brimmed hat that goes all the way around, you're protecting both your face and your ears. People do forget about their ears.
Ashley Curtis MD, Dermatologist contVisors are not a good idea. You're missing your ears. And you're missing the top of your head. It's important to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes when you're in the sun. The best way to do that is with sunglasses. When you're looking for sunglasses,
Ashley Curtis MD, Dermatologist contyou need to look for some that say UV protection. It will say that it protects UVA and UVB rays, and that's what you want. UVA and UVB rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum of ultraviolet light. UVA and UVB both can lead to skin cancer.
Ashley Curtis MD, Dermatologist contWhile UVA rays are mainly associated with aging of the skin and things like that, they can certainly still lead to skin cancer. UVB is 100% related more to the skin cancer formation. The acronym SPF stands for sun protection factor.
Ashley Curtis MD, Dermatologist contI recommended an SPF of at least 30 on a daily basis, and then even higher than that when you are going out to be in the sun for long periods of time. So 50 would be good at that point. The hours of 10:00 to 2:00
Ashley Curtis MD, Dermatologist contare where you're going to get most of your UV exposure. So going before 10:00 or going to the beach after 2:00 is also a great idea.