can you get sunburn thru clothes

can you get sunburn thru clothes

Can You Get Sunburn Through Clothes?

It is a common belief that the best way to protect oneself from sunburn is to stay covered with clothes. However, it is actually possible to get a sunburn through clothes if you’re not careful.

Types of Clothes

The thickness and material of the clothing determines how much protection it provides against the sun’s UV rays.

  • Thin Fabrics: Thin fabrics like cotton and linen are often very light and provide very little protection against the sun. In fact, the fabric can be slightly see-through and still allow UV rays to penetrate.
  • Synthetic Fabrics: The synthetic fabrics are generally better when it comes to protection from UV rays. However, depending on the type and thickness of the fabric, you can still get sunburn through them.

Protect Yourself

If you want to make sure you are protected from the sun even when wearing clothes, there are some tips that can help.

  • UPF Clothing: Look for clothing with a UPF label. This stands for ‘Ultraviolet Protection Factor’, and indicates how much the clothing protects from the sun.
  • Cover Up: Whenever possible, wear long sleeve clothing and trousers. This prevents the UV rays from reaching your skin directly.
  • Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen liberally and reapply it often. Even if you’re covered in clothing, it prevents the UV rays from reaching your skin directly.


It is possible to get sunburnt through clothes. Therefore, it is important to be careful and be extra cautious if you’re in a very warm environment. Wearing UPF labelled clothing, covering up with long sleeve clothing and trousers, and applying sunscreen liberally are all good ways to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays even if you’re wearing clothes.

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