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New Survey Reveals Gender Divide Surrounding Skin Cancer Awareness And Prevention

SHELTON, Conn., June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Skin Cancer Foundation, in partnership with the makers of Banana Boat ® and Hawaiian Tropic ® brand sunscreens, has issued the results of a survey highlighting a dramatic gender divide in awareness about skin cancer preventative measures. The survey results reveal that nearly half (49%) of men in the US admit to not using sunscreen in the past 12 months and an alarming 70 percent of men don't even know what skin cancer warning signs to look for. In almost every case, men prove to be less knowledgeable than women about the proper methods to protect themselves against sun exposure and skin cancer.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120620/NY27352LOGO )

"These results are especially concerning when we consider that men over age 50 are more than twice as likely as women to develop and die from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer[i]," said Joshua Zeichner, MD, a spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation and Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. "Reports show that 58 percent of new invasive melanoma cases diagnosed this year will be men versus 42 percent in women[ii]."

Men and Sunscreen UseThe survey also revealed that men typically do not follow recommended sunscreen usage guidelines. For example:

  • The vast majority of male sunscreen users (79%) are not aware that the recommended amount of sunscreen to use per application is one ounce. 
  • A significant majority of men (61%) mistakenly believe that one sunscreen application protects skin for at least 4 hours, even though the recommended reapplication is every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Only 32 percent of men consider themselves extremely or very knowledgeable about how to properly use sunscreen to get adequate protection. 

Additionally, nearly two-thirds (64%) of men believe (or are unsure if) women need more sunscreen than they do, because of their misconception that female skin is more sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

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