An Overview of Ultraviolet-Protective Clothing

Cureus. 2022 Jul 27;14(7):e27333. doi: 10.7759/cureus.27333. eCollection 2022 Jul.


Protection from harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can be achieved in a multitude of ways: sunscreen, chemical laundering additives, regular clothing, and photoprotective clothing. While sunscreen remains a popular sun-protective method, research has shown that its long-term use can lead to serious neurological, endocrine, and developmental consequences. Chemical laundering additives have been marketed as a means to absorb or reflect UVR, but data on its efficacy tests are not currently available, and skin contact with these chemicals may prove to be harmful. All clothing, regular or sun-protective, confers sun protection through dyes, weave patterns, and textile materials. However, photoprotective clothing is generally rated as more protective on the ultraviolent protection factor (UPF) scale and garment protection factor (GPF) scale. A combination of photoprotective clothing and sunscreen use over non-covered body areas is likely to be the optimal way for sun protection with minimal risk. However, further research on the topic is needed to gain deeper insights into it.

Keywords: sun protection; sun protective clothing; upf; uv protection; uv protective clothing.

Publication types

  • Review