Some of those mistakes are highlighted in new research published online today in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Researchers set up free sunscreen dispensers at the Minnesota State Fair and observed 2,187 people using them over the course of 93 hours. Only one-third (33 percent) of people applied sunscreen to all exposed skin, and just 38 percent were wearing sun-protective clothing, hats or sunglasses. Additionally, utilization of the free sunscreen dispensers decreased significantly on cloudy days. “Research has shown that women are more likely than men to use sunscreen, but it’s vital that men use it too,” says board-certified dermatologist Darrell S. Rigel, MD, FAAD, a clinical professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at New York University. “Men over 50 have a higher risk than the general population of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and UV exposure is the most preventable skin cancer risk factor, so it’s important for men of all ages to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and applying sunscreen.”

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 77, Issue 1

Comment: Studies continue to show inadequate sunscreen use despite repeated attempts in education. Applying sunscreen to all exposed skin should be a part of one’s daily regimen, similar to brushing your teeth. SPF 30 or higher is recommended. Options are available to individuals with sensitive skin. New vehicles offer choices for those individuals who complain sunscreens feel greasy or sticky.

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