Sun Protective Clothing: Protect Yourself From Sunburn and Cancer

It is becoming increasingly common to see people wearing long-sleeved shirts on beaches, at parks, and in other outdoor areas exposed to intense sunlight. This may seem strange to you are first. You may start asking questions like, "Why are those people wearing long sleeved shirts in the hot sun?" and "Wouldn't they be much cooler if they wore short sleeves?" 

You may even ask, "Are those people crazy?" They answer to this question is a resounding "NO!" In fact, they are exceedingly smart to wear "sun protective clothing" and I'll tell you why below.

A Sun Protection Shirt, also called a UV Protection Shirt, is a smarter, more economical, and more effective way to protect yourself from harmful solar radiation than any type of sunscreen you could use, regardless of the rating of the sunscreen. The older generations know this but the younger generations have lost this wisdom (until now). The older generations knew they better wear a long sleeved shirt if they were going to work outside on a hot summer day of they'd be blistered by the sweltering sun! They also wore wide brimmed hats to protect their face from the sun. Otherwise, their face would be burnt to a crisp.

You may have had an experience vacationing at the beach where you either forgot or were too lazy to reapply your sunscreen. Sometimes you may have avoided putting sunscreen on your skin because of the icky way it feels. Afterwards, you may have turned as red as a boiled lobster. You may have gotten so sun burnt, it hurt just to walk a few feet! You may remember the excruciating pain that entails. If you've been burned badly by the sun, you never forget that misery!

I remember I used to wear a cotton shirt to the beach sometimes but it didn't work as well as the sun protection shirt I wear now. Sun protective garments are specifically designed to block all types of harmful sun rays. I used to not be all that disciplined about reapplying sunscreen on my exposed areas, so I'd end up burned from head to toe -- but I digress!

You may be asking, "Why doesn't a regular long sleeved shirt work to protect you from the sun?"

Unfortunately, regular clothing fabrics do not block all the UVA and UVB radiation from penetrating down to the skin. Some regular fabrics will block some of it but not enough to stop you from being burnt, especially if you're in the sun a while. 

The UV radiation is what causes human skin to burn in the hot sunlight. It also causes even more serious problems over time, ranging from ugly skin blemishes to skin cancer. Furthermore, many people don't realize that some forms of skin cancer can actually be deadly, even with modern medical treatment, because some forms of skin cancer can metastasize to other parts of the body where it can not be surgically removed. The scientific term for this terrible form of cancer is "metastatic melanoma."

Fortunately, sun protection clothing can block most of the sun's harmful UVA and UVB radiation! When you buy UV protection clothing, you will see a UPF rating that will guarantee you will be protected by a certain percentage of UV radiation. When shopping for sun protective clothing, be sure to look for a UPF rating of UPF 50+. This will block 98 percent or more of the UV radiation as long as you wear the clothing the whole time.

So, the next time you see people at the beach wearing long sleeved shirts, don't think of them as crazy, think of them as smart! In fact, buying a sun protection shirt for your family and friends is a good way of saying, "I love you." You can teach your kids when they are still young that sun protective clothing is the best way to protect yourself from the sun's harmful radiation. It's also much cheaper than sunscreen and it does not involve rubbing harmful chemicals into your skin!



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