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A questionnaire survey of attitudes to and usage of sunscreens in northwest England

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Sunscreens are employed with the aim of reducing the deleterious effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR), but little is known about their use in the UK. Methods:

This questionnaire survey assessed attitudes to and usage of sunscreens in northwest England in 2000. Subjects (186 females and 102 males) were recruited from the waiting rooms of four general practices, with a high response rate of 97%. Results:

Females were more frequent users of sunscreens than males, but only 35% females and 8% males reported their regular use. Twenty-two per cent of the study population did not use sunscreens at all, whereas 66% of subjects bought a sunscreen product once a year or less. Thirty-four per cent subjects reported experiencing sunburn in the last 2 years. Interestingly, more (60%) sunburns were found to occur at home in the UK than on holidays abroad, and these frequently occurred during outdoor activities other than deliberate sunbathing. Conclusion:

There remains much scope for sunscreen education in the British public.
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Keywords: education; public; sunscreen

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Photobiology Unit, University of Manchester Dermatology Centre, Hope Hospital, Salford, Manchester, UK,

Publication date: 2003-04-01

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