The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) has conducted a survey to promote Sun Awareness Week this week, which suggests that 80% of people are failing to apply sunscreen before being exposed to the sun.
Throughout the week, the BAD are urging people to take sun protection seriously due to the risks of developing melanoma, which according to the organisation, more than doubles in people with a history of sunburn compared with people who have never been sunburned.
"These results show just how widely sunscreens are not being used properly by the British public, and highlight an important area for sun awareness campaigns to target,” said Johnathon Major from the BAD.
He continued, “While we have succeeded in making people aware of the link between sunburn and skin cancer, we have more work to do in teaching people how to use sunscreen properly. Education is key if we are going to improve sun safety habits and prevent the public from putting themselves at risk.”
The poll also indicated that 70% of people fail to reapply sunscreen every two hours as recommended and 35% of people would only seek shade if they were hot rather than to avoid burning.
The BAD believes that people need to be better educated about the importance of sun protection, and recommends that people apply a thick layer of SPF 30+ or 50+ to all areas of the skin that is exposed to the sun, making sure that the product is fully absorbed before going outdoors. The organisation also suggests that people should spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm and wear covered clothing such as a shirt, hat, and sunglasses.
Sun Awareness Week takes place between May 9-15.