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Sun Protective Clothing

Topics: Sun Protection


As dermatology providers we educate our patients regularly on the importance of wearing sunscreen. If you are someone who works outdoors, spends a lot of time in the sun, or are going on a vacation to a sunny place, then you may wish to give yourself the additional coverage of Sun Protective Clothing. This type of protection is now widely available for infants, children and adults. It lends flexibility to the type of sun protection we, as active humans, need. Garments can include hats, beach cover ups, bathing suits, jackets, shirts, rash guards, swim trunks and other clothing.

Items labeled "Sun Protective Clothing" are clothes that are designed specifically for extra coverage. These options can be manufactured with certain types of fabrics, weaves and dyes that work to shield a person from the damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation of the sun. Unlike sunscreens, which utilize a Sun Protective Factor (SPF) rating to determine the level of protection, sun protective clothes are labeled with a UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor. If you are searching for sun protective garments, look specifically at the UPF rating. Here is a guide to determine how well a piece will protect you:  

UPF of 15-24 is considered "good" with 93-96% UV radiation blocked.
UPF 25-39 is considered "very good" with 96-97% UV radiation blocked.
UPF 40-50+ is considered "excellent" with 97-99+ % UV radiation blocked.

Another plus side to UPF protected garments is that the sun protection does not wash off, sweat off or wear off when you are swimming or doing other activities outside as the SPF with sunscreens can. We do not suggest that you use sun protective clothing as an alternative to sunscreen, but rather to use them together to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays. If you would like more information on where you can find sun protective clothing, below are a few trusted websites that offer reputable products:


So have fun and enjoy the sun . . . responsibly!

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