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  • Notes from Nadia

Are you UPF protected? I am talking clothing!

There is 1 melanoma death every hour in the US... beside SPF protection are you UPF protected?


Clothing is measured by UPF (ULTRAVIOLET PROTECTION FACTOR). This is equivalent to SPF (SUN PROTECTION FACTOR).


Understanding UV rays and why it’s important to know?


UVA for AGING

Comes from everyday exposure, like walking, driving, doing your everyday activities, this is why the excuse “ but I am never in the sun” is irrelevant, we are always being exposed to the sun even on cloudy days.


The effects of UVA build up over time, making these rays more dangerous because they can cause not only dry leathery skin but cancer too.


They burn less but cause prolonged tanning and these are the rays that cause hyperpigmentation, skin aging, wrinkles and melanoma.


UVA can also penetrate through glass and UVA levels are the same throughout the day and across all seasons.


You MUST make sure your sunscreen is BROAD SPECTRUM to be protected from UVA.


This is a truck driver who drove with his window closed and got sun only on one side of his face. This is the kind of damage the sun can do even if you never go to the beach or lie in the sun.

Sun Damage
Photo courtesy of New England Journal of Medicine

UVB for BURN

Over the years the concern has mostly been with UVB rays, which cause us to burn and are the strongest rays associated with skin cancer. Sunscreens have been made to protect us from burning by these shorter wavelengths.


UVB is strongest in the summer and midday and this is what produces Vitamin D.


Basically what SPF means is how long your skin can handle the sun before burning with sunscreen on compared to no sunscreen. Ie: if you get burned in 10 minutes without sunscreen then with a SPF 20 you will not burn for 20 x more minutes.


UVC for CANCER

This CANCER causing ray is the most harmful type of UV ray and is blocked by the ozone layer and atmosphere so MAYBE for now this is not a real concern.


Protecting ourselves DAILY is crucial.


Beginning with sunscreen.


The higher the SPF, the higher the protection although anything above 50 cannot be verified, do not be fooled by the marketing of 70, 80, 90 or 100 SPF.


IMPORTANT!!

UV changes throughout the day therefore you must reapply and make very sure your sunscreen is applied evenly.


To summarize about sunscreen and SPF... IT IS IMPORTANT EVERY DAY even if you think you never go out into the sun and if it’s cloudy.


Clothing with UPF as sun protection is the way to go besides wearing sunscreen. The benefits are great you don’t have to worry about reapplying or making sure your sunscreen has been applied evenly and clothing with filters is BROAD SPECTRUM, it blocks both UVB and UVA.


Like sunscreen, the maximum UPF that can be claimed is 50 and the more tightly

woven the fabric, the more sun protection.



DON’T FORGET


To apply sunscreen on all exposed areas throughout the day, tops of feet, hands and of course face.

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