Survey shows sunscreen is still not a priority
consumers are still not aware, or else don't take seriously, the
importance of using sunblock or sunscreen to prevent sun damage,
suggesting industry still has work to do to get the message over.
The results of the survey were gathered by the Massachusetts-based South Shore Skin Center at a recently held women's expo, where 48 women aged 17 to 70 and two men under 50 were questioned over there attitudes to sun protection. "With all the education and talk nowadays of sun damage - from wrinkles to melanoma, it's surprising that there are so many people who don't believe in the necessity of using sunscreen," said Dr. Richard Eisen, founder of South Shore Skin Center. The news comes despite the fact that countless national and international health and safety organizations have launched awareness campaigns in recent years, particularly in the light of the categorical evidence linking exposure to UVA and UVB rays with skin damage that can lead to cancer. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that, when it came to beautifying treatments for the skin such as chemical peels, alpha hydroxyl or glycolic acid and Botox - many of which focus on treating damage created by sun exposure - the survey found that knowledge levels were high. Although these treatments can fight the signs of aging caused by exposure to the sun, they are not preventative, a factor that worried the dermatologists involved in the survey. "This raises concern because the only prevention is the use of sunblock or sunscreen on a daily basis," explained Dr. Eisen. "There are many other products and treatments that may be used after sun damage has already occurred, but sunblock is really is the only preventative - the only way to protect the skin from UVA/UVB rays. It's important for people to realize that sunburn cells are associated with DNA mutations associated with skin cancer." The survey also showed up another interesting fact,that although 80 per cent of women surveyed said they had regular skin checks, only 30 per cent of that number visited a specialized dermatologist for a thorough skin exam that might determine more serious forms of skin damage. Ultimately the survey results appear to indicate that awareness of preventing skin damage is still overshadowed by the desire to find treatments for skin damage. Although the global suncare industry has shown steady single digit growth in recent years, the indications are that increased growth could be achieved by educating the consumer over the important role sun care can have in preventing skin damage, but in a way that the message and its importance simply cannot be forgetton.