Facial exposure to ultraviolet radiation: Predicted sun protection effectiveness of various hat styles.

Research paper by C C Backes, A A Religi, L L Moccozet, L L Vuilleumier, D D Vernez, J-L JL Bulliard

Indexed on: 24 Apr '18Published on: 24 Apr '18Published in: Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine


Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) doses received by individuals are highly influenced by behavioural and environmental factors. This study aimed at quantifying hats' sun protection effectiveness in various exposure conditions, by predicting UVR exposure doses and their anatomical distributions. A well-defined three-dimensional head morphology and four hat styles (a cap, a helmet, a middle- and a wide-brimmed hat) were added to a previously published model. Midday (12:00-14:00) and daily (08:00 - 17:00) seasonal UVR doses were estimated at various facial skin zones, with and without hat-wear, accounting for each UVR component. Protection effectiveness was calculated by the relative reduction of predicted UVR dose, expressed as a predictive protection factor (PPF). The unprotected entire face received 2.5 times higher UVR doses during a summer midday compared to a winter midday (3.3 vs. 1.3 SED) with highest doses received at the nose (6.1 SED). During a cloudless summer day, the lowest mean UVR dose is received by the entire face protected by a wide-brimmed hat (1.7 SED). No hat reached 100% protection at any facial skin zone (PPF : 76%). Hats' sun protection effectiveness varied highly with environmental conditions and were mainly limited by the high contribution of diffuse UVR, irrespective of hat style. Larger brim sizes afforded greater facial protection than smaller brim sizes except around midday when the sun position is high. Consideration of diffuse and reflected UVR in sun educational messages could improve sun protection effectiveness. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.