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Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer; Copy Editor: Clare Morrison; Chief Editor: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, October 2013. About Melanoma is sponsored by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated.
Wearing clothes is the most effective way to stop the sun’s ultraviolet rays from getting to your skin. Nowadays you can buy clothes made from specially manufactured sun protective fabrics. These clothes will be labelled with a UV Protection Factor (UPF) rating; the higher the number, the better the protection. Note that UPF protection is not equivalent to the SPF rating used for sunscreens; clothing labelled as UPF 50 gives much better protection than a sunscreen labelled as SPF 50.
However, it isn’t necessary to buy special clothes to keep the sun’s rays off you. Here are some tips for choosing what to wear to keep sun-safe:
If you or your family spend a lot of time outside, particularly doing activities in the water, it is a good idea to invest in swimwear such as a long-sleeved rash top and long shorts made from sun protective fabric with a very high UPF.
Don’t forget your feet! Jandals are great to wear over summer but they don’t provide much protection. If you can’t go without the jandals or sandals then make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen to your feet.
Sun protection to prevent melanoma video (A/Prof Amanda Oakley).
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