Blue or Red Cotton Can Protect Against UV Radiation

CB100678If you’re concerned about protecting yourself against skin cancer when spending time outdoors, choosing certain pieces of clothing may lower your risk of UV damage.

According to scientists in Spain, cotton that is dyed a deep blue or red offers more UV protection than yellow and other lighter colored shades. The results of the study will be published in the November issue of the ACS’s Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research journal.

The lead researcher of the study Ascension Riva says that there is little scientific information on how color interacts with other factors that determine how much ultraviolet light is blocked at any given time. However, researchers have been able to use computer models that relate the level of UV protection achieved with three fabric dyes that change the UPF of fabrics. Darker-colored fabrics, especially deep blue shades, have the ability to absorb more UV light, while lighter shades such as yellow offer the lowest rates of absorption.

Scientists conclude that this information can help clothing manufacturers make better decisions when they are designing sun-protective clothing. Currently, manufacturers use elements such as zinc oxide to enhance the fiber of the fabric and deflect both UVA and UVB rays.

These fibers can help to protect the skin from sun damage, which in turn slows down the aging process while reducing the risk of skin cancer. Sun protective clothing made with deep blue or red dyes may be the best option for anyone who wants to protect their skin. In addition to wearing sun protective clothing, experts say it’s still important to wear sunscreen underneath clothing, and to reapply it every four to five hours. Dermatologists also recommend applying sunscreen to the face at least every two hours if the individual is not wearing a hat or other protective gear.

Further Reading

  • Up until now, dermatologists have been trying a variety of different skin removal techniques to get rid of precancerous skin lesions.

  • Topical agents, diet and certain medicines presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2010 in Chicago is showing promise for preventing UV-induced skin cancer. Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, and dermatologists are now encouraging the public to be conscientious about the amount of sun they are exposed to, and taking extra steps to use broad-spectrum sunscreen on a regular basis.

  • Individuals with a rare skin disease called recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) can improve their condition with the transfer of bone marrow stem cells. A team of medical researchers has found that bone marrow stem cells can effectively treat the disease and help to repair the skin and speed up the healing process. This skin disease cannot be treated with conventional dermatology procedures.