Q&A: Rash Guards for the Swimming Pool

Q&A: Rash Guards for the Swimming Pool

Rash guards for women go the extra mile. Whether you’re hanging 10 or hanging out, they protect your skin from the sun, salt, and sand and can even be used out of the water. Add one to your summer wardrobe, and you’ll be ready to make a serious splash when it heats up outside!

Wondering whether a rash guard is a good fit? Here are some answers for you.

What is the Purpose of a Rash Guard?

Rash guards protect your skin from developing raw, red, and irritated spots due to saltwater exposure. Other elements, such as friction from movement and contact with the surfboard, can also cause discomfort. The garment prevents these issues while protecting the skin from potent UV rays.

Do You Need a Rash Guard?

If you surf, you absolutely need a rash guard to protect your neck, chest, and arms from becoming raw and uncomfortable when exposed to sand and wax buildup on the surfboard, or to saltwater. Moreover, the garment safeguards your skin from harmful UV rays and is versatile enough to wear over anything from a basic bikini to a modest one-piece swimsuit.

Are Rash Guards the Same as Compression Shirts?

Although compression shirts resemble rash guards, they are not the same. A rash guard is more of a performance garment that is designed to fit even more snugly against the body without restricting movement. Some areas have a bit of give thanks to the addition of elastic, while others are tighter to help optimize movement.

What is a Rash Guard Swim Shirt?

Rash guard swimming shirts are an alternative to the traditional rash guard. This style offers a slightly looser fit that conforms to the body. It’s a suitable choice if you aren’t surfing, but it’s important to select a size that isn’t too large. Otherwise, it will float up in the water and minimize any sun protection benefits. A rash guard swim shirt also tends to dry more quickly than the standard top. Compared to rash guards, there’s a hint of “drag” involved because they aren’t form-fitting, and depending on what you do in the water, that may factor into your decision.

Should a Rash Guard Fit Tightly?

Rash guards are designed to conform to your body to effectively minimize chafing and rubbing. If you prefer something with a slightly looser fit, look for something with a hint of stretch, or wear a rash guard swim shirt for something more forgiving.

What Should You Wear Underneath?

Most people tend to wear their rash guards over traditional swimsuits or standard women’s bikini tops. It’s best to experiment with swimsuit styles to find what’s most comfortable when you’re in the water.

Do You Need to Wear Sunscreen Under a Rash Guard?

The beauty of wearing UV-protective garments is that you don’t need to wear sunscreen underneath, but you do need to apply it to areas that are otherwise exposed to sunlight. This includes your stomach and beneath the cuffs of the sleeves, which may ride up while you’re in motion.

Does a Rash Guard Keep You Warm?

While rash guards provide a barrier between brisk water and your skin, they aren’t warming layers that lock in body heat. They will, however, keep you slightly warmer than if you only had on a standard bathing suit top.

Can You Swim in a Rash Guard?

A rash guard won’t get in your way during a swim. The tight, slim fit means it won’t move around, bunch up, or drag you down when you’re moving through the water. It also provides extra warmth when you’re taking a dip in the chilly ocean.

Can you Wear a Rash Guard in the Pool?

Unlike cotton T-shirts, rash guards are fine for swimming pools. An old shirt can harbor bacteria, requiring the use of more chemicals to keep the pool safe and hygienic. Cotton also breaks down in chlorinated water, and loose fibers that wash away can clog a filtration system.

Do Rash Guards Protect You From Jellyfish?

Although rash guards do form a reliable protective barrier between your body and the elements, they aren’t specifically designed to prevent jellyfish from stinging. However, any additional fabric that you wear is better than nothing, and if they do sting you can trust that the intensity will probably be less severe.

Can You Hike in a Rash Guard?

Rash guards aren’t just for swimming—they’re perfect for hiking, too. The lightweight, stretchy material offers UPF 50 protection and won’t chafe. These rash guards also wick away moisture, so you won’t get super sweaty when climbing uphill.

Do Rash Guards Stretch Out?

A quality rash guard will not lose its integrity with time. That means you can trust it to remain stretchy after you wash it, but it’s important to care for it properly. Rinse it in cold water to eliminate any contaminants, like chlorine and salt, and handwash it gently instead of using the washing machine. Squeeze out the excess moisture and allow it to air dry.

What is the Best Rash Guard Brand?

Lands’ End is proud to offer one of the largest selections of women's swimwear, including high-performance rash guards. Every piece is designed to reflect the demand for comfort, sun protection, smooth texture, and forgiving fit that includes a healthy dose of stretch.


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