One of the best ways to protect yourself from the sun is to cover up — but for many people, protecting your skin stops at long sleeves and jeans. Your head also needs protection, and an easy step you can take is to wear a hat. While you could put sunscreen on your scalp, that can make your hair look greasy if you’re not careful. But with a hat, you can block harmful rays without needing to shampoo your hair later that day. Hat also offer an extra step in protecting your skin, as they address scalp sunburn as well as face and ears.
When it comes to protecting your skin, the darker and thicker the material, the better the coverage. A thin, white material that is not specially formulated to be sun-protective isn’t very useful. But a canvas fishing hat is slightly thicker and can block much of the sun’s rays. Tightly woven straw is an excellent choice — but it must be tightly woven. Lacy patterns with several holes give you no protection at all. As always, look for a UPF or SPF rating, though for thicker hats, you might not need those numbers.
Brims and Tops
Protective hats must have tops that are solid — no mesh, no open fashion weaves, and certainly no visor-like holes. Brims should be at least four inches wide, and you can find many sun and utility hats with wider brims. The brims keep the sun out of your eyes and shade your ears. Baseball caps and narrow-brim hats don’t offer the same shading.
A wide brim helps protect the back of your neck during general activities. If you’re gardening or doing something where you’re constantly looking down — and your neck then becomes exposed to the sun — get a neck guard or pin a bandana (a.k.a. bandanna or kerchief) to the inside rear of the hat and drape the cloth over your neck. You can also find baseball-style caps that have built-in neck guards.
Inner Band Caution
Many hats have an inner band that rests on your forehead. Sometimes this band can be too prominent and leave marks on your forehead in spots where the material was pressed into your skin. Look for smooth, wide bands that don’t have a lot of stitching or other details on them.
Visit a skin doctor in Atlanta for more advice about protecting your sin. Premier Dermatology and Mohs Surgery of Atlanta wants you to have the best possible protection. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation, where we can discuss skin coverage, as well as the warning signs of skin cancer and treatment options. We are conveniently located in Alpharetta, GA.