What you should know about UV-blocking clothing

Sunscreen isn't the only way to protect yourself from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sun-safe clothing is becoming more popular. If you haven't already, you might want to add some pieces to your summer wardrobe. 

Here's why:

Your everyday tee isn't very sun-proof

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, your regular white tee only has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of about 5. Remember, your sunscreens should be an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher. So you really should be applying sunscreen under your tee shirts. Denim, on the other hand, provides plenty of sun protection.

Thicker clothing isn't necessarily helping

Just because tees aren't very sun-proof doesn't mean you need to hide under bulky sweaters. Tightly woven fabric protects better than thick fabric. That's why UPF  shirts can be light and still effective. 

You're probably not reapplying enough

You should reapply sunscreen every two hours or after sweating/swimming. If you occasionally forget, UPF clothing can provide some backup protection. UPF gear doesn't mean you can completely skip sunscreen, though. While a solid, wide-brimmed hat can keep direct sun off your face, neck and shoulders – the sun's rays can still reflect off surfaces (like water) and cause damage. 

Dr. Elieff is a big fan of sun-safe clothing. He always wears a light, UV-blocking shirt while fishing. He also uses protective gloves and masks. Check out the video below to learn more about how a dermatologist stays safe in the sun. 

Midwest Clinic