Community Blog

Cancer From the Sun Month - Have You Considered Using Clothing to Help Avoid Skin Cancer?

By Ketan Shah

June is Cancer From the Sun Month. Did you know that 20 percent of Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they're 70? Sunscreen is essential if your parents will be out in the sun. It's not the only precaution they should take.

Many people don't realize that sunscreen must be applied every two hours. In addition, people believe being in the shade is enough. Even in the shade or on cloudy days, UVA and UVB rays can reach your parent's skin. They should always have sunscreen on to protect all exposed skin.

One thing that can help is to wear clothing that covers the skin. Light materials, like cotton, can allow the sun to penetrate through the fabric. It will offer a little protection, but not as much as your parents might think. Here's a guide into the clothing your parents should wear to avoid skin cancer.

Start With a Wide-Brimmed Hat

A wide-brimmed hat is a good start towards shading the face from the sun's damaging rays. A baseball cap isn't enough. It will leave the neck and ears exposed. Your parents need a hat that shades the neck and ears, too. With a drawstring, your parents can keep the hat from flying off on a windy day.

Look for Clothing That Proves UPF Protection

Many companies make lightweight clothing with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). The fabric's weave, the type of material used, and special coatings on the fabric all help the clothing items offer a level of protection from the sun. Some of the companies offering UPF clothing lines include Coolibar, L.L. Bean, Patagonia, and REI.

Look for shirts that have a UPF factor of 30 or more. Long sleeves and pants will cover more skin than a tank top and shorts. Loose-fitting shirts will also allow less light to reach your skin than a tight-fitting shirt.

Other Ways to Stay Safe

While wearing sunscreen and protecting clothing will help, your parents need to watch how much time they spend in the sun. In the hours of the day when the sun is highest in the sky, the risk is greater. If they can avoid being outside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., that's ideal. If not, they should make sure they stay in the shade as much as possible and keep track of the time.

Make sure your mom and dad don't spend too much time in the sun. If you can't supervise their time outside, hire senior care professionals to help. Caregivers can join your parents for walks, cook meals, and make sure they apply plenty of sunscreen. Call a senior care specialist today to get started.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Los Gatos, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.