Posted by Hunter on Fri, 31 Jul 2009.
Research revealed by Teenage Cancer Trust and Superdrug shows that young people, especially young men, are increasing their risk of skin cancer by not taking important precautions in the sun.
While girls seem to be getting the message about using suncream, young men are still failing to protect themselves. Over a quarter (26%) of 16 to 24-year-old men, won’t use suncream this summer, compared to 4% of girls.
Teenage Cancer Trust and Superdrug found that only half of young people (53%) cover up when they are out in the sun and less than half (44%) of boys will wear sunglasses compared to two-thirds (63%) of girls. Only a third (35%) of boys wear a sun hat, crucial for protecting sensitive areas such as the face and neck, compared to 6 out of 10 girls.
Most shockingly, 8% of boys surveyed admitted to not taking any actions at all to reduce their risk of getting skin cancer.
Today Teenage Cancer Trust launches its Shunburn campaign, supported by Superdrug, to reach young people with important information on taking care in the sun and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Part of the campaign is an innovative free text alert service for young people. Text messages will be sent on hot days, giving useful sun safety tips, including reminders to wear sun cream.
Shunburn is fronted by 19-year-old Annabel Banks who had a potentially dangerous mole removed from her neck after hearing a sun safety talk from Teenage Cancer Trust’s education team. Annabel has been photographed for the campaign by photographer and Britain’s Next Top Model judge, Huggy Ragnarsson. In the photos Annabel demonstrates the campaign’s five sun safety steps – wear suncream, wear a hat, cover up, seek shade between 11 and 3 and wear sunglasses.
The images of Annabel will be used to spread the sun safety message all summer long on leaflets, online and in Superdrug stores across the country. Superdrug will also donate 50p to Teenage Cancer Trust for every bottle of SPF50+ Solait sun lotion spray sold throughout the summer.
Simon Davies, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust said: “With weathermen predicting a hot summer and skin cancer rates rising in the UK, there has never been a greater need to show young people how to protect themselves when they’re out in the sun.
“It is encouraging to see from our research that 85% of young people say they use suncream to reduce their risk of skin cancer. But there’s obviously a need to educate young men and reduce the stigma attached to measures like wearing suncream and covering up. As well as suncream, there are other important steps that all young people should be taking to avoid getting burnt. We hope that through our Shunburn campaign and with Superdrug’s support we can let young people know that they can enjoy the sun and look after their skin at the same time.”
Martin Crisp, Superdrug Superintendent Pharmacist said: “It’s a fact that the use of sun protection can cut the risk of skin cancer, this year alone we’ve seen visits to our mole clinics rise by a third as people are becoming more skin aware. Through the Shunburn campaign we hope to show our customers just how important it is to be safe in the sun, and also how easy it is to have fun and enjoy the summer at the same time.”
The Shunburn crew will be heading to a street near you this summer – keep an eye out for free Shunburn goodies and leaflets.
Visit www.shunburn.co.uk for more information and sign up for Teenage Cancer Trust’s FREE burn alert service this summer, text SHUN to 80231.