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Source: Good Neighbor Pharmacy Health Connection, June 2010 issue
Something New Under the Sun
UV Protective Clothing
About 1 million Americans will develop skin cancer this year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Fortunately, it is never too late to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. And, one of the best ways to do so is also the simplest: Cover up with sun-protective clothing. There are three types from which to choose:
1. Ordinary Street Clothes
Many items you already own may be sun-protective. However, the classic white cotton T-shirt is not one of them. Instead, choose long-sleeved shirts and long pants made of lightly woven fabric. Polyester and nylon are best, and darker colors are more protective than lighter shades.
2. Specially Made Clothing
Several companies make apparel certified as sun-protective. Brand names include Solumbra and Coolibar. The clothing is made of special fabric blends that protect but still allow skin to breathe, unlike most standard polyester or nylon garments. Labels include the UV protection factor, or UPF rating. UPF is equivalent to SPF and ranges from 15 to 50.
3. Clothing Laundered in a Sun-Protective Additive
By adding a product called Rit SunGuard detergent to your washer, you can raise the UPF of that white T-shirt from five to 30. And that is after just one washing, according to research. Two washings in quick succession will boost the UPF to 50.
Of course, clothing cannot cover every inch. For best protection, slather a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 on exposed skin. Add a hat, wraparound sunglasses, and SPF 15 lip balm, and you are ready for your next outdoor adventure.
Q: What are the signs of sun poisoning?
A: Symptoms include chills and fever along with a painful rash, itching, and blisters. The unpleasant eruption can last for days to weeks.
Young women are more susceptible than men to sun poisoning, especially if they have fair skin that easily burns. The neck, arms, and legs are most commonly affected.
Treatment for sun poisoning may include:
1. Corticosteroid creams or oral medications
2. Oatmeal baths
Q: How can I effectively treat my sunburn at home?
A: To ease your sunburn, run cold water onto your skin for 10 minutes, take a cold bath or apply a wet compress as often as necessary, but never use ice. Relieve the pain and itchiness with over-the-counter products with menthol, dyclonine, pramoxine or benzyl alcohol. Since it can be painful to rub lotion onto your sunburn, spray formulas are a good alternative. If your sunburn does not improve in a week, contact your doctor.
Talk to your doctor or Pharmacist about treatment options.
Source: Good Neighbor Pharmacy Health Connection, June 2010 issue, Jun 2011 issue
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