Surgeon General Call to Action on sunscreen use in U.S.

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Surgeon General Call to Action on sunscreen use in U.S.

Related tags: Skin cancer, Ultraviolet, Sunscreen

While the majority of Americans know the benefits of using sunscreen, just over one in ten are wearing it all year round suggesting that more still needs to be done.

The news comes after a recent Call to Action issued by the Surgeon General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase awareness of skin cancer and to advocate practices to reduce the risk.

The Call to Action revealed that the number of Americans who have been diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in the past three decades is estimated to be higher than the number of all other cancers combined, with the incidence rates of skin cancer increasing continuously in recent years.

Knowledge

A recent TNS Omnibus survey also revealed that only 12% of Americans use sun protection year round and yet 83% of consumers realize that the use of SPF protection is a healthy practice that, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, could guard against the occurrence of skin cancer.

In the TNS survey, sponsored by Herbalife, only about one-quarter of adults are aware that skin cancer had the highest incidence of any type of cancer in the United States.

“Every year in the United States, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer, at an estimated cost of $8.1 billion,”​ says Dr Howard K. Koh, assistant secretary of health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, causes nearly 9,000 deaths each year. Despite recent efforts to address risk factors, skin cancer rates continue to rise.”

Protection

The US Department of Health and Human Services acknowledges that understanding the risk of UV exposure is crucial to protecting skin from irreversible sun damage, and underscores why the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer recommends that for adequate protection, sunscreen should have an SPF of 15 or higher.

Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sunscreen is one of the most common methods of sun protection used by Americans, and when used as directed, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher helps prevent sunburn, and reduces the risk of early skin aging and skin cancer associated with UV radiation.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Skin Care

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