Can I Get Sunburned Through My T-shirt?

The question of whether or not you can be sunburned through a t-shirt is a common one. Having clothing on seems like a logical way to protect yourself from the damages of UV rays and preventing the sun from burning your skin. Sadly, that is not technically accurate. With the increase of skin cancer many people are concerned with doing everything they need to protect their skin from the harmful effects of the sun. There are many different brands of sun block with varying amounts of protection. Even some makeup is toting sunscreen protection.

While protecting your face and other exposed skin from UV rays with sunscreen is a great start, it is just a start. Clothing does not block enough of the rays to be a perfect protection. After hours in the sun, or less depending on the situation, you may find that your skin is burned even where your clothing was. The likelihood of being burned through your t-shirt rests on several factors.

A lighter weight material is usually less effective than a thicker material. There are some companies that claim they offer clothing with UV ray protection, but usually these items are swimwear and not t-shirts for everyday wear. Loose woven fabrics are much more likely to allow sunburn than fabrics that are tightly weaved. Also, a wet t-shirt greatly increases the risk of a burn over a perfectly dry one. While a wet shirt may seem like a great idea to keep your body cool during a hot summer, if you don’t protect your skin with a waterproof sunscreen, you may end up being sunburned.

Wearing a sunscreen under your t-shirt helps to block the UV rays that do seep through the fabric. While it seems like a waste of energy and money to wear sunscreen under clothing, it is the best way to try and prevent the sun from burning your skin and increasing your chance of skin cancer. While you may be able to still get cancer even if you have never once had sunburn, the more your skin is exposed the higher the chances are of getting skin cancer. Sunscreen is designed to protect your skin from the rays for a designated amount of time, so take the time to apply it as often as needed.

Just because your shirt may not be a tight woven fabric doesn’t mean you should just through it out and buy new ones. Your favorite shirts can still be worn if you take a little extra time to protect your skin by applying a liberal layer of sun block to your skin before putting your shirt on and going outside. You will not only be protecting your skin but you will also be able to enjoy wearing your favorite t-shirt without worrying too much about the effects of the sun on your body. Your t-shirt is an expression of your individuality and personality. Don’t let the sun dictate what you wear. Just take the precautions of applying sunscreen before hand and enjoy a life of wearing your favorite clothes.

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