The Skin Cancer Foundation, along with Energizer Personal Care's Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen brands, has released survey findings showing that men are less knowledgeable about sun protection than women.


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Energizer brands highlight sun protection poll results

June 20th, 2012

SHELTON, Conn. – The Skin Cancer Foundation, along with Energizer Personal Care's Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen brands, has released survey findings showing that men are less knowledgeable about sun protection than women.

Energizer said Wednesday that the online poll of 1,000 U.S. adults revealed that 49% of men admit to not using sunscreen in the past 12 months, while 70% of men don't know what skin cancer warning signs to look for.

In almost every case, the men surveyed proved to be less knowledgeable than women about the proper methods to protect themselves against sun exposure and skin cancer, the research found.

"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," stated Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a spokesan for The Skin Cancer Foundation and assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. "Reports show that 58% of new invasive melanoma cases diagnosed this year will be men versus 42% in women."

The survey also showed that men typically don't follow recommended sunscreen use guidelines. For example, 79% of male sunscreen users aren't aware that the recommended amount of sunscreen to use per application is one ounce. Similarly, 61% of men mistakenly believe that one sunscreen application protects skin for at least four hours, even though the recommended reapplication is every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

Other key finding of the poll included the following:

• Only 32% of men consider themselves extremely or very knowledgeable about how to properly use sunscreen to get adequate protection.

• 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 radiation from the sun.

• 85% of men are  unaware that they are more likely to die of melanoma than women.

• 70% of male respondents admit they don't know how to perform a skin cancer self-exam or what to look for.

• 57% of men are unlikely to see a medical professional for a skin exam, and just 26% realize that the chest and back are the most common places on the body that men develop melanoma.

"The survey results confirm what I see in my practice every day: Men just aren't incorporating sun protection into their lives," according to Zeichner. "The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone adopt a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade between 10 a.m and 4 p.m., covering up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, and wearing sunscreen every day. There is an obvious need for increased skin cancer awareness among men, and The Skin Cancer Foundation is actively working to better reach men with sun protection messages."

Education is the key to improving men's sun protection awareness, noted Minna Raffin, director of Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic brand sunscreens. "When asked, nearly a quarter of male respondents (22%) said they would consider using sun protection in the future if they learned they were at high risk for skin cancer," she stated.

According to the survey, 29% of men feel confident, or very knowledgeable, about what to look for or how to choose sunscreens. "We're working closely with our retail partners to explore at-shelf solutions that educate shoppers and ease confusion when selecting the right sunscreen for themselves or their families," commented Raffin.

Energizer added that a simple, sun certification quiz is available on the Facebook pages of

Banana Boat

and

Hawaiian Tropic

. The quiz is designed to break down complex sun education information into easy to understand information and advice.

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