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Should I wear a hat in the sun?

Diana K. Blythe, MD
Pediatrics
If you are going to be out in the sun, sunscreen of at least SPF30 is a must. However, there are other things you can do. Try sitting in the shade or wearing a wide-brimmed hat. Also, avoid being outside in the hours just before and just after noon.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat outdoors is great way to protect your hair, eyes, and skin from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. While you still need to slather your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, a hat can help give added coverage for the skin on your ears and neck. Be sure the sunscreen you select has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, and apply it before going outdoors. Also, a wide-brimmed hat can protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. Wearing a hat with protective sunglasses can keep you from squinting and help prevent wrinkles around your eyes.
Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatology
Hats are pretty and stylish as well as protective, so get yourself a head-turning collection of hats for every season of the year to ward off the sun’s rays. Visors work well, too, and they look great with sportier and more casual outfits. Visors are also less likely to give you “hat hair.” However, don’t let worries about messing up your hair keep you from wearing hats. Believe me, the protective effect of wearing hats far outweighs the problem of needing to run a comb through your hair a couple of extra times a day! And remember, for every extra inch of hat brim, you get 10 % lower risk of skin cancer.

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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.