Thursday, April 17, 2008

Solar Gain

Hi y'all. The great weather is boosting my spirits and enticing me outside. My enthusiasm must be tempered with respect for ultra-violet solar radiation (UV). Chemo and UV don't mix well. My onc-nurse, Emily, tells me I have to be careful for about a year. The 5-FU effects seem to linger and slow skin repair. So, the free-spirit ways are over - now it's all about skin protection products from sunscreen with high SPF to clothing with Ultraviolet Protection Factor ("UPF"). UPF is like SPF except UPF rates protection against both UVA and UVB.
Check out http://www.coolibar.com/sunprotectiveclothing.html
I bought a couple of clothing items for testing. It's a balance between breathability and solar protection. Standard light-weight fabrics don't have great protection ratings (still better than bare skin of course). But the technical fabrics can pass only 2% UV (reciprocal of UPF rating). Basic rule - if you hold the fabric up to the light and can see through it - it's a fairly low UPF ~5.
Take care. And protect yourself against the sun.

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