Dangerously low sunscreen use revealed

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Skin cancer, Sunscreen, Demography

Most people are not sufficiently protected against skin cancer
with one of the major causes being an infrequent use of sunscreen,
concluded a new study.

The report adds to a body of evidence that suggests there is still a long way to go before the nation's population becomes fully aware of the dangers of sun exposure and the steps that can be taken to minimize them. Researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Centre, led by Elliot J Coup, investigated the prevalence of habits that increase the risk of getting skin cancer in differing age groups using data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) in the US. The survey suggests that the majority of the US population engage in more than one high risk behavior, the most prevalent of which being infrequent use of sunscreen with an SPF 15 or above and infrequent use of sun protective clothing. Young people exhibit lowest sunscreen use ​ Young people between the ages of 18 and 29 are the least likely to frequently use sunscreens of SPF15+, according to the report, illustrating a group to be targeted by both sunscreen manufacturers and national education programmes. Individuals in the 65 plus age group follow close behind and are only marginally more likely to be frequent users of high SPF sunscreens than those at the other end of the age spectrum, according to the report. Worryingly the report also noted that the same age group was most likely to exhibit multiple high risk behaviours, with more than 80 percent of 18 - 29 year olds reporting at least two. According to the study, other demographic groups that were correlated with multiple high risk behaviors include men, non-Hispanic Whites and individuals with lower education levels. The fact that men appear to be less sun savvy than women has influenced a certain number of sun care manufacturers to release sunscreens specifically targeted at the male consumer. The K2 suncare range is to be rolled out in the New Year and is designed for the extreme sports enthusiast. K2 also hopes the range's sporty image will appeal to younger men and motivate them to lower their skin cancer risk. In addition, leading UK supermarket Asda has been researching the possibilities of a male sun care range with fragrances such as juniper, bergamot, and the more quirky smell beer. In this case Asda is hoping that masculine fragrances will help dispel the myth that protecting against sun damage is not compatible with a masculine image. Source: Multiple Skin Cancer Risk Behaviors in the US population​ Elliot J. Coup, Sharon L. Manne, Carolyn J. Heckman American Journal of Preventative Medicine ​Published online January 8th

Related topics: Formulation & Science, Skin Care

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