Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells and most often develops on skin exposed to the sun (Source: Mayo Clinic). However, skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States, can also occur on areas of your skin not directly exposed to sunlight. Sun radiation can pierce fabrics and attack the skin, causing blemishes that can come in different shapes and colors. In severe cases, skin cancer can show as damaging sores, sometimes healing but then returning. There are three major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Luckily, we have proven forms of skin cancer prevention to keep you safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
Common Skin Cancer Prevention Techniques
Skin cancer prevention comes in a number of forms. The most common forms are applying sunscreen, seeking shade, and covering up your body when outside. This is in addition to avoiding tanning booths, sun lamps and any other unnecessary exposure to damaging UV radiation. However, the most effective way to prevent skin cancer is through the habitual use of certified UPF products.
What Are UPF Products?
UPF simply stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. UPF indicates how well a fabric protects your skin from UV damage by measuring how much UV radiation is able to penetrate the material to reach your skin. It is based on a score system that ranges from 1-50+. Fabrics rated UPF 50 allow 1/50th, or 2%, of the sun’s UV rays to penetrate, blocking the other 98%. Likewise, UPF 30 fabrics allow 1/30th or slightly more than 3% of the sun’s UV rays through, blocking nearly 97%. Realistically, every article of clothing you own would have a UPF score, if it were rated. Firstly, that’s a big “IF” because most clothing is not UPF rated. Secondly, if it were rated, the majority of clothing would have a very low UPF score.
UPF 30+: A Must for Skin Cancer Prevention
Here is what you need to look for when buying skin cancer prevention clothing. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, a fabric must have a UPF score of at least 30 to qualify for the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. A UPF score of 30 offers good UV protection, which is why UPF 30 is the minimum standard for all of Rayward Apparel’s sun protection products.
UPF 30 or greater is best for skin cancer protection. Any clothing rated at UPF 30 or above blocks at least 96.7% of the sun’s UV radiation, and meets the recommendation of most dermatologists. Of course, for the ultimate skin protection, look for the highest possible rating: UPF 50+. A UPF 50+ fabric blocks over 98% of the sun’s rays and allows less than two percent to penetrate, thus allowing for the best sun protection and skin cancer prevention.
How Fabric Color Impacts UV Protection
In the absence of a UPF rating, at least pay attention to the color and content of the fabrics. Dark colors typically absorb more UV light than lighter colors, such as white. However, very vibrant colors such as red may be more effective at blocking UV rays. In general, the more vivid the color, the better protection it offers. That said, without a UPF rating, nothing is guaranteed and color should only be used as a guide when UV protection ratings aren’t available. Therefore, it’s safest to only trust apparel with a certified UPF rating.
The best part of UPF clothing is that unlike sunscreen, it does not have a time limit nor does it need to be reapplied. Therefore, you always know you have reliable sun protection when wearing UPF clothing. For anybody that enjoys the outdoors, UPF 30+ clothing should be an essential part of your everyday life. Skin cancer can be unsightly at best, or deadly at worst, and nasty and painful on any level. Therefore, it is essential to protect yourself at all times. You can find stylish UV-protection clothing by shopping at Rayward Apparel, so visit our online store today!