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How well does clothing protect me from the sun?

Not all clothing protects the same, and some does not protect you at all. Research says that if you are relying on your clothes to protect you from the sun, there is a right way and a wrong way to dress. Wearing clothing helps to block the sun, but clothing alone may not be sufficient. For example, a regular white T-shirt provides a sun protection factor (SPF) of 6 or 7 at the most, and the SPF of a wet T-shirt is even lower. In other words, if you swim in a white T-shirt and think you are protected, you might just get burned. If you're planning on being outdoors, apply sunblock 15 minutes before you get dressed. Or, wear tightly woven fabric -- polyester and rayon are better than cotton. Dark clothing blocks more ultraviolet light than light colors and mesh materials offer virtually no protection from the sun. 

 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.