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Why is it important to protect your chest from UV rays?

Why is it important to protect your chest from UV rays?
Photo 215071277 / Neck Sun Exposure © Chernetskaya | Dreamstime.com

 

Chest Coverage - Why is it important to protect your chest from UV rays?

The chest is one of those frequently sun-exposed areas that most of us don’t think about protecting until it is too late. As we age we see that familiar permanent V-shape skin area on our chest that is either more brown, or red, or rough-textured. Many of us don’t realize how thin the skin is on the chest, especially compared to the skin on our back, arms or legs. Generally speaking, the skin on our back is thicker, then becomes thinner in front and progressively thinner towards the face and thinnest around the eyes. 

 


Photo 17769516 / Neck Sun Exposure © Suzanne Tucker | Dreamstime.com

Sunburn on chest after wearing polo shirt without chest and neck protection.



UV radiation tends to break down the skin’s collagen and can have a negative effect on other structural processes that support our skin’s quality, such as the ability for the skin to maintain its shape and firmness. In addition, the chest being a relatively flat surface, UV exposure is easily absorbed (UVA) and reflected (UVB), causing sunburns. It is not uncommon for precancers known as actinic keratoses, brown sun spots known as lentigines, and fine red vessels called telangiectasia, start to appear in those with a history of chronic sun exposure and sunburns on the chest (and other areas). Skin cancers like basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and melanoma can also develop. Any frequently sun-exposed skin is at risk for sun damage.

 


Photo 182140734 / Chest Sun Exposure © Inge Blessas | Dreamstime.com

Basal cell carcinoma on chest. Skin discoloration, wrinkles and texture due to frequent sun exposure.



Prevention is key, as many things in life. With the chest it is simple, wear high-collared shirts or accessories like NeckBlock with for your golf polos or scoop-necked shirts. This protects your neck and chest. Sunscreen helps however, the NeckBlock accessory avoids you having to wear sunscreen, which usually ends up permanently staining your clothing. Your skin is your body armor and protecting it while spending hours in the sun is crucial.



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