Sun safety is more than SPF

Many times in the office I am asked what sunscreen is the best. Of course I recommend an SPF that is 30 or greater with titanium and zinc oxide. I also share with patients other ways they can practice sun safety. Our first line against the sun is our clothing, then sunscreen. The problem is not all clothing protects our skin the same. An average white t-shirt offers a Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 4, but there are better options than a white t-shirt. We now have many clothing lines that offer fashionable alternatives with great sun coverage. Sun protection in clothing is graded by UPF rather than SPF, so the higher the UPF, the greater sun protection one will receive. UPF protects against both UVA and UVB. Ranges of UPF are

Good: 15-24photo 1

Great: 25-39

Best: 40-50 ** blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays

Great clothing accessories to help protect your skin include shawls, ponchos, shirts, hats and my favorite for golfers are removable sun sleeves. Many of the LGPA players sport this look in vibrant colors.  A variety of fabrics are available for activities such as swimming, fitness, golfing, and multi-use. photo 2

Clothing lines that are available include Eclipse Sun Products, Sun Day Afternoon, and my personal favorite Coolibar. If you shop at www.coolibar.com and use the promotional code MED15 when checking out you will receive 15% OFF your entire order.

So when heading to the beach, golf course, or even just for a walk, don’t just wear your sunscreen– also remember your sun protective clothing and accessories!

By: Gina Mangin, MPAS, PA-C

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