Common sense helps prevent sunburn...not sunscreen

According to a recent Reuters article, Americans are giving sunscreen the cold shoulder. The following is an excerpt from the article:

“Despite the attention of the healthcare industry on the role of sunscreen in preventing skin cancer, about 40 percent of Americans never apply sunscreen at all before going out and only 9 percent wear it every day, the poll of 1,004 people, showed. One of the regions with the lowest use of sunscreen was the South, where 46 percent of people said they never using sunscreen at all during the summer”.

Now conventional wisdom says that after reading the above excerpt, one can assume that the prevalence of sunburn should occur in the southern states. Right? Well, not really. The aptly named ‘sunbelt’ states have some of the lowest prevalence of sunburn rates among a demographic group believed to be prone to sunburn.

According to this study, none of the states with sunburn prevalence among whites greater than 45% were traditional ‘sunbelt’ states.

In fact, as recently as 2006, the majority of these ‘sunbelt’/southern states had some of the lowest incidences of melanoma skin cancer for men and women as can be seen with this interactive graph on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Now we’re not saying that you should go out into the sunshine and tan without a care in the world. Regardless of which state (or country) you live in, common sense should prevail at times. Get your daily dose of sunshine and enjoy it…but be sure to head for the shade before your skin starts ‘pinking’.

You can read what our Chairman, Warren Matthews, has to say about sunscreen by reading this entry from his blog.