Sun protective clothing
WHY WEARING SUN PROTECTIVE CLOTHING?
Before 1990, there were few references in scientific literature on clothing as solar radiation protection. This has changed considerably over the past decades, due to the increasingly harmful effects of the sun's rays. By avoiding harmful exposure to UV radiation at early ages, we prevent adverse health outcomes, such as skin cancer, later in life.
It is believed that the sun's rays are more permeating nowadays than they used to be in the past.
It is important to know that nature itself had previously provided for our protection from solar radiation with the clouds and ozone layers that prevented most of the ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earth. Today, a diminished ozone layer allows more radiation to reach the Earth's surface, causing serious damage.
Our body has protection mechanisms. Our own skin has a self-defense mechanism against the harmful effects of UV light. For example, melanin found in melanocytes absorbs radiation and so we do not get burnt after exposure to the sun - mostly people with dark skin.
Can our body prevent or repair the damage from the sun?
Initially, there are endogenous systems for protection from solar radiation, such as pigmentation, antioxidant enzymes, DNA repair enzymes and non-enzymatic antioxidants, such as plant polyphenols. Irreversibly damaged cells result in apoptosis (cell self-liquidation). Excessive, long-term exposure to UV destroys DNA repair genes, which results in tumor formation. That means that even our own body cannot protect itself from the sun, if we do not know how to protect ourselves.
How can we protect from the sun?
External radiation protection includes avoiding sun exposure and use of sun protective products (sunscreens, sunglasses, hats, umbrellas).
Future protection strategies focus especially on the use of sun protective clothing. This is a special category of wearable products, made with materials designed to block out damaging sunlight, providing effective and optimum protection to the consumer from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB radiation.
What damage can the sun cause on the skin?
UVB causes sunburn, while UVA travels through the skin and is responsible for its aging. Chronic UV radiation effects, including photo aging, photo carcinogenesis, and immunosuppression, are the ones who do not think of initially. Besides, it is no coincidence that skin cancer rates are constantly increasing.
Special populations such as children, patients with atypical moles (dysplastic nevi), collagen diseases, connective tissue diseases, actinic keratosis, photosensitive organisms and immunosuppressed patients have particular protection needs.
Do sunscreens offer enough sun protection after all?
Sunscreens are chemical agents that help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin and prevent or minimize the harmful effects of this radiation on the skin. Depending on their chemical structure, they are chemical or organic and physical or inorganic. Physical sunscreens mainly protect from UVB radiation and are ideal for children and patients with photodermatosis. Chemical sunscreens are colorless and often have a nice scent. They protect from both UVA and UVB radiation. A Sun Protection Factor (SPF) measures the level of UVB protection a sunscreen or a piece of sun protective clothing gives you. Also, it should be noted that you should apply one teaspoon per two square centimeters of skin for the sunscreen to be effective –an instruction that is hardly ever followed.
How do sun protective clothing protect us?
Scientists came to the conclusion that the protection offered by attire depends on its fiber composition, color and moisture content. The active ingredient infused into fabric fibers to improve UV filtering is called TINOSORB FD. TINOSORB FD has proven to be an excellent sun filter for both UVA and UVB radiation.
How is protection measured?
Protection is measured according to UPF (Ultraviolet Protective Factor). UPF represents the ratio of erythema (sunburn)-causing UV measured without and with the protection of the fabric. According to it, protection is good (UPF 15-24), very good (UPF 25-39) and excellent (UPF> 40). Sun protective clothing control criteria have been defined by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
What is the advantages of sun protective clothing?
In countries where such education has been provided, sun protective clothing is very popular with parents who want to protect their children in various conditions and at all times, e.g. in the mountains, at the sea, on an excursion.
Also, with regard to plain clothes or sunscreens that have an SPF around 10, sun protective clothes can function as solar radiation protection up to 90%. For those who are interested, it should be noted that this kind of attire is a smart, inexpensive and daily anti-aging agent.
Can someone choose between different patterns and colors?
Of course! Sun protective clothing is trendy, comfortable, it comes out in a variety of colors and designs, as well as lots of different sizes, from the size of a baby to the size of an adult.
Are these clothes affordable?
They cost as much as a casual shirt or a hat for example. They are machine washable and you will enjoy wearing them for many years to come, as they are not single-use pieces of clothing. You should also buy reputable brands from authorized retailers to avoid buying fake products or products of inferior quality. The original sun protective clothing that provides the protection indicated is manufactured in accordance with scientific specifications. Finally, they continue to protect, even after getting wet.
So, have a nice summer, more experienced and risk-aware!