Sex differences in sun protection

With summer fast approaching, this study has highlighted that men are less likely to adhere to sun protection measures, despite being at a higher risk of developing skin cancer than women

Researchers examined sun-related behaviour and risk awareness (Photograph: iStock)
Researchers examined sun-related behaviour and risk awareness (Photograph: iStock)

A multiple choice questionnaire was used to assess patients' knowledge about sun protection measures and UV-associated risks, to record their sun protection behaviour and determine levels of sun exposure.

Male patients under 20 years or over 64 years of age showed a lower adherence to sun protection behaviour. Adherence to sun protection measures was higher in women aged 20 to 64 years, although they were more likely to spend more time in the sun, suggesting they wrongly believe such protection measures allow them to spend prolonged periods sunbathing without risking damage to their skin.

The authors suggest that future skin cancer protection programmes should focus on specific populations with low sun-protection behaviour and high UV-exposure.

Sattler U, Thellier S, Sibaud V et al. Br J Dermatol. Published online March 18, 2014. doi: 10.1111/bjd.12966

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