Can you get Sunburned through Clothes?
The short answer is yes. Sunburns can develop even when the skin is covered by clothing. However, how much sun protection clothes offer varies widely depending on the fabric and its color.
How Much Protection Does Clothing Offer?
The amount of protection clothes offer depends on a number of factors, including:
- Fabric: Tightly-woven fabrics provide better protection, while looser-weave fabrics like cotton can allow more ultraviolet (UV) rays through
- Color: Darker colors offer more protection than lighter colors
- Density: The more layers of fabric in a garment, the more protection it will offer
- Wetness: Wet clothing can be less effective at blocking ultraviolet (UV) rays
Generally speaking, darker, tightly-woven fabric provides the most protection from UV rays. Clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating of 30 or higher offers the maximum protection from the sun’s rays.
Are Special Sun Protection Clothing Available?
Yes, there are now numerous clothing companies that specialize in garments designed to protect you from the sun’s rays. These garments are often made of synthetic materials that are designed to block UV rays. Many of these garments also come with UPF ratings.
Clothing can provide some protection against sunburns, but you should always wear sunscreen when spending time in the sun – even if you’re wearing protective clothing. If you’re planning to be out in the sun for an extended period of time, look for clothing with a UPF rating of 30 or higher and consider wearing a hat or other headgear to protect the scalp.