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Posted on 9th March 2020

Updated 10/01/2024

Rash Tops: What are they? Five reasons you should consider a Rash Top for swimming

When it comes to swimwear we are most definitely spoilt for choice these days but sometimes the options can be a little confusing. When you have children you want to do the best for them and which swimwear you opt for will depend on many factors; age, size, where you are swimming, the temperature of the water, your child's swimming ability and so on. 

Researching what will best suit your baby or child is essential in order to discover what will meet their needs. Having previously covered everything you need to know about wetsuits we are now moving on to reasons you should consider a rash top for swimming.

But first, let's cover a few rash top questions...

What is a Rash Top?

A rash top (sometimes known as a rashie) is a fitted swim top that is usually made from lycra, nylon or polyester. It is the perfect choice of swimwear for the beach, especially if your child enjoys water sports and, as the name suggests, its main job is to protect their body from developing a rash whether that's from the sun, the wind, the sand, from body boarding or anything else that may irritate their delicate skin. 

How Should a Rash Top Fit?

Ideally, a rash top should fit closely to the skin in order to be comfortable and to move with the body. However, it does not need to fit as snugly as a wetsuit would. 

Does a Rash Top Provide Buoyancy?

No. A rash top isn't a buoyancy aid and if your child needs this extra support when swimming, you will need to purchase extra flotation aids such as armbands, a noodle, a float jacket, swim vest or a floatsuit.



Who Can Wear a Rash Top?

Rash tops are widely available for adults, babies and children in a range of sizes and funky styles. They can be worn either under or over your usual swimwear choices such as a bikini, swimsuit or tankini or on their own with some jammers or shorts.

How Do You Care for a Rash Top?

It couldn't be any simpler to care for a rash top. After each use just simply rinse out with cool water and leave to air dry ensuring that it is laid out flat and not balled up in order to protect the fabric. If you feel it needs a full wash, choose a gentle detergent to hand wash the garment with. Again rinse well and leave to dry. Do not use the washing machine or tumble dryer as these will both damage the fibres.





And now onto the important reasons to purchase one...

5 Top Reasons To Choose a Rash Top

1. Sun Protection

The main purpose of a rash top is to provide up to UPF50+ sun protection for your little one's skin, making it an essential piece of swimwear for a beach holiday, especially in warmer climates. The benefit of a rash top is that it is lightweight, comfortable and easy to move in, which allows your child to run about, swim, play and get up to all of the activities that they love with no restrictions. They are also quick drying so can be worn comfortably all day.

2. Wind and Sand Protection

Having this extra layer over the top of their body will also help to protect your child from the wind and sand. Not only can children burn in the sun they are also at risk of developing windburn on a very breezy day at the beach which can also result in sand being blasted too. The rash top will help to provide a barrier against both of these and allow your child to continue to enjoy their time outdoors.

3. Sea Protection

A wetsuit in a warmer country can sometimes be far too warm and also a little restrictive if you want to take part in water sports. A rash top is a popular choice amongst surfers as it will provide that essential protection against the sun, the wind plus any friction from the surfboard. Waiting for that perfect wave can take time and the constant splash of seawater between your body and the surfboard can cause irritation on the trunk of the body. The top gives that layer of protection and when wet, it stays in place providing a barrier for your skin.

4. Warmth

Although a rash top will never give your child the level of warmth that a body wrap, wetsuit or the warm-in-one will, it will certainly give them a little bit more than a usual swimming costume would; especially for boys who tend to have their top half bare. A rash top is not only a perfect option for the beach but also for a swimming pool as it will give your child that little bit of warmth to swim for longer. 

5. Keep Ointments in Place

If your child suffers from skin conditions such as eczema, you will most probably already be very familiar with the routine you have to undertake before taking them swimming. Chlorine and saltwater can irritate sensitive skin and you will want to protect your child to prevent further discomfort. The best way to help them is to apply a barrier cream up to an hour before swimming. This will give it plenty of time to soak into the skin and provide a layer of protection from the water and prevent any chemicals from causing more issues. By adding a rash top over their skin this will help to keep the ointment in place for longer and stop it from being washed away too quickly.  Here at Splashabout, we love rash tops and we have some really stunning designs making this swimwear fun as well as practical.