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Men 'worse than women' at protecting skin in the sun

August 31, 2011

A survey suggests that many men are putting themselves at risk of skin cancer by failing to protect their skin from the sun's rays.

Men are less responsible than women when it comes to protecting their skin in the sun, a new survey has found.

A YouGov poll of 2,059 adults, commissioned by Cancer Research UK, revealed that just 47 per cent of men use at least factor 15 sunscreen, compared with 66 per cent of women.

Just three-fifths of men said they spend time in the shade, compared with 72 per cent of women, and men are also less likely than women to cover up with clothing in the sun (41 per cent versus 45 per cent) and wear sunglasses (53 per cent versus 68 per cent).

The report also found that men are more likely than women to rely on their partner to remind them about sun protection.

Overall, the findings suggest that men may be more likely to need their private medical insurance to obtain cancer drugs in the future, as getting sunburnt is known to increase the risk of skin cancer.

Caroline Cerny, Cancer Research UK's SunSmart campaign manager, said: "These results indicate that men seem to be worse than women at protecting their skin in the sun.

"People know that getting sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer but many don't bother to protect their skin from burning."

The charity advises people to spend time in the shade, particularly between the hours of 11:00 and 15:00, cover up with clothing that has a close weave, and wear at least factor 15 sunscreen.

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