Sunburn Through Clothes?
Summertime means sunshine – but it also means taking extra care not to get a sunburn! The warmth of the sun’s rays can cause sunburns, even in the winter, and even when you exercise in the outdoors. But can you get a sunburn through clothes?
The UV Ray Dangers of Summer Sun
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the primary cause of sunburn. Most fabrics, even dark ones, don’t offer much protection from harmful UV rays. So, you still need to protect your skin with sunscreen or layered clothing, even when you’re wearing a shirt, swimsuit, or other types of clothing.
How Clothing Material Affects Sunburns
Your risk of sunburn depends on the type of clothing you wear. Sunburn risk increases exponentially when you wear light-colored and loosely woven fabrics, because these types of materials let light and UV rays pass through more easily than other fabric materials.
Tips to Prevent Sunburn Through Clothes
To prevent sunburn through clothes, follow these tips:
- Wear Sunscreen – Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to exposed skin before going out in the sun.
- Wear Protective Clothing – Cover up with lightweight and tightly woven clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in the Shade – Seek shade when possible, especially during the sun’s strongest hours — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Wear a Hat – Wear a wide-brimmed hat or a baseball cap to protect the face, ears and back of the neck.
Remember, even light-colored clothing and loose-fitting clothes won’t completely protect you from UV rays. Sun protection is still necessary even when you’re wearing a shirt, swimsuit, or other clothing item.