Men meagre with their use of sunscreen in comparison to women

By Pooja Kondhia

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sunscreen

According to a recent YouGov survey commissioned by Cancer Research UK (CRUK), over half of British men don’t bother applying sunscreen, in comparison to about a third of British women.

Likewise, men are also less likely to protect their skin in other ways such as covering up with clothing or spending time in the shade.

Women are better

The survey results indicated that in general, women are better at protecting their skin, thanks to their use of sunscreen with at least SPF 15, spending time in the shade and wearing sunglasses.

Five times more men, than women said they rely on their partners to remind them about protection from the sun.

In addition, with over 50 per cent more men forgetting about sun care, around 75 per cent said they were not concerned with getting sunburnt.

There’s a big gap between what people know and how they behave in the sun. And this report highlights one of the challenges we face in halting the rise in melanoma rates​”, said Caroline Cerny, CRUK’s SunSmart campaign manager.

Traditionally it’s been women who want to sport a suntan but this survey suggests men crave this look as well but are forgetting to protect their skin​.”

Sunburn cause for concern

Cerny also commented on the fact that sunburn is a sign of DNA damage, and despite people knowing that sunburn can increase the risk of cancer but many don’t bother preventing their skin from burning.

Also, Sara Hiom, director of health information at CRUK said, “Your skin doesn’t have to be red raw, peeling or blistering to have sunburn damage. If your skin has gone red in the sun, it’s sunburnt​.”

She also stated, “The British weather causes a dilemma because we don’t tend to get many sunny summer days, so when it does shine, people tend to overdo it, not realising you can burn even when it’s cool or slightly cloudy​.”

Melanoma-related deaths

Another reason that the survey’s results are worrying is because of deaths caused by the most serious form of cancer.

Over the last 25 years, rates of malignant melanoma have risen faster than any of the most common cancers, in both men and women.

As such, despite more women diagnosed with melanoma, more men die from the disease. According to figures from 2008, around 6,200 women were diagnosed in comparison to 5,600 men.

Conversely, more than 1100 men died from the disease, which is 3.1 per cent per 100,000, as opposed to almost 950 women who died, 1.4 per cent per 100,000.

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