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What is UPF clothing? Does that mean I can dump Sunscreen?

Planning to go out in the sun. The one thing to do before going out is to apply in good amount SPF sunscreen cream, as rays of ultraviolet (UV) Radiation from the sun can lead to sunburn, premature skin aging, and skin cancer. Applying on hand, leg, and face in itself is a process and takes time. So if there could be a way out, wouldn’t it be good. UPF clothing could be the answer you are looking for?

What is UPF?

The UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor. This is a numerical rating given to Clothing to indicate how effective it is to block ultraviolet radiation. If a fabric has UF rating 25, it means that only 1/25th of the UV radiation can penetrate the fabric. UPF can protect us from broad spectrum UVA and UVB radiation, which is an advantage over SPF. 50+ is the highest UPF rating a garment can get and is considered as an excellent material.

UPF Ratings and Protection Categories

List of Factors that can influence the SPF factor in a cloth:

  • Fabric Type: Cotton, wool or polyester
  • Weave: Less UV radiation passes through tightly knit garments
  • Colour: Darker colors means greater protection
  • Weight: UV radiation penetration decreases with increase in the thickness of the garment
  • Stretch: Stretchable fabric would allow more UV radiation to penetrate the skin
  • Moisture: Wet cloths blocks less amount of UV radiation
  • Condition: Old fabric offer reduced protection 

UPF clothing protects everyone against UV-related health risks. It is particularly useful for:

  1. Sun-sensitive people: People with fair skin  are more vulnerable to UV rays and might get sunburns easily
  2. Children: Kids are more prone to sunburns as their skin is thin and sensitive. Any sunburn at an early age can also increase their risk of having more serious problems later in life.
  3. People living or visiting high altitudes, equatorial regions, or on snow or water: Sun intensity is very high in these regions
  4. People taking medications: Sun sensitivity increases while having drugs, like acne treatments, antihistamines, antibiotics, certain anti-inflammatories, and herbal supplements. Read up the drug pamphlets to learn about cautions about the sun.
  5. Dark skinned people: People with dark skin tones, who might rarely show signs of burning, can still develop skin cancer.

Word of caution:

UPF clothing alone does not provide complete protection. Along with using UPF clothes, you must also:

  • Liberally apply good quality sunscreen with a high SPF rating to protect all those areas not covered by UPF clothing
  • Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from UV rays
  • Use hats and caps
  • Do not go out at times when the sun is super bright

Stay smart and enjoy Sunny Day!

This post first appeared on ScienceandSamosa, please read the originial post: here

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What is UPF clothing? Does that mean I can dump Sunscreen?


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