Live Wisely

My 2 Reasons for Covering Up In the Sun: Perspectives of a Muslim Dermatologist-in-Training

As a Muslim-American female, I am no stranger to being covered in the sun. In accordance with my faith, I wear the hijab. Wearing the hijab does not only involve covering my hair. I also cover my skin—except for my hands, feet and face.

As an all-American girl, I was born and raised on American fashion trends. I have always seen the fabric I wrap around my head as just another accessory piece to complete my outfit of the day. My struggle truly began with Michigan summers on the lake. In accordance with my faith, I couldn’t wear a revealing bathing suit into the water. I shied away from participating in water activities because I often felt embarrassed to jump in—fully covered.

Flash-forward to just a few years ago, when my husband and I were planning a vacation to escape the stresses of my medical school training. I was yearning for some warmth and sunshine but felt anxious about finding modest swimwear that wouldn’t make me a spectacle to strangers on the beach. My online search led me to Coolibar. Finally, I discovered fashionable, modest clothing with the primary purpose of UV sun protection in both fabric and design.

Following graduation from medical school, I began my residency training in dermatology and became extremely passionate about sun protection. To this day, the first skin cancer excisional surgery I performed is very fresh in my memory. The surge of excitement from my role in the treatment was shadowed by the heavy burden of making sure I correctly conveyed the importance of sun protection to prevent future skin cancers.

As a dermatology resident, I’ve come across patients of all ages, ethnicities and walks of life who have skin cancer. Regardless of their background, every single patient is regretful about their time spent unprotected in the sun.

Through personal and medical reasons, I’ve taken Coolibar to heart. Not only because styles offer more skin coverage for sun safety, but their UPF 50+ sun protection is guaranteed for life. I never have to worry about my patients or myself when it comes to exposure to harmful UV rays. I love my Coolibar gear because it provides me modest, stylish and, most importantly, SAFE clothing to wear while outdoors!

Dr. Fatima Fahs gives her reasoning behind why she chooses to cover up in the sun. Dr. Fahs is a dermatology resident in Detroit, Michigan. She enjoys blogging about skin care, mom life and residency on her Instagram page, @dermy_doctor

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March 22, 2018

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