Spring is coming soon. Your cabin fever is getting better and you are extremely eager for basking in the warm sunshine. However, there is just one concern. How do you make full use of a day in the rays without harming your skin or health?
Although public health is warning about overexposure to UV radiation, only 17% of adults, including those with children, say that sunscreen lotion is always a must when they are going out in the sun for half an hour or more. As a matter of fact, the majority of people are not regularly using sunscreen, which surprises Dr. Anees B. Chagpar, associate professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine. And more than a quarter of melanoma survivors do not have sun protection and a few sill use tanning beds.
According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has striken nearly 77,000 Americans every year and taken nearly 9.500 lives. The National Cancer Institute estimates that over two million new non-melanoma skin cancers will be diagnosed this year.
“As we know, sun exposure is a major risk for people with melanoma. If they have sun protection, the chances of recurrence may be reduced. Although we found that melanoma survivors did better than the general public at protecting their skin from the sun, 27% of them never wear sunscreen.” Chagpar said in a written statement.
A 2010 national study was reviewed by Chagpar in which health questionnaires were given to over 27,000 US adults. The findings were reported on April 8, 2013 at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. If having a daily sunscreen is not your gig, consider protecting yourself with UV-protective clothing that offers an excellent defense. Actually, many skin-care experts think clothing shields skin more effectively from UV light than sunscreen. The reason is that we often apply sunscreen lotions too thinly, which gives our skin less protection. And we often forget to reapply it.
Since the late 1990s, clothing manufactures have been developing clothing and accessories to minimize the amount of broad range UV radiation that passes through. In order to indicate how much UV transmission a garment gets, the industry voluntarily used the UPF rating system.
Basically, the higher the number, the better the protection the fabric provides. Any fabric allowing less than 2% UV transmission is simply labeled UPF 50+, which is the highest rating. Any garment with a UPF 15 has too little protection to be labeled.
Modern fabric, including moisture-wicking, quick-drying and highly breathable, engineered for optimal ventilation, make it surprisingly efficient and comfortable to shield skin from UV light when you have outdoor activities in a sunny day. Vents are used by some UPF-rated garments to boost air circulation so the wearer stays cool and comfortable.
It is simply not enough to say a clothing item has a UPF rating. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission monitors UPF advertising claims. If a manufacturer’s claim are questioned, the FTC can investigate the testing methods that were used to ensure that they support the claim.
image:Flickr / gem66