La Roche-Posay, a global leader in ultraviolet (UV) protection, is continuing its work to increase public awareness of skin cancer and prevention with its SOS – Save our Skin Campaign, now in its fifth year. This year the company collaborated with the global survey group Ipsos to investigate where people in the United States, as compared to those in other countries, stand on sun protection habits.
This year’s campaign is timely: A recently published report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that only 29.9% of women and 14.3% of men commonly use sunscreen on their face and on other uncovered skin, and many people (especially men) never use sunscreen protection at all when outdoors.
The La Roche/Ipsos survey involved more than 19,000 men and women, ages 15–65, in 23 countries and found that Americans have marginally better sun practices and awareness of its dangers. Nevertheless, its results and the CDC’s findings are clear that better information about skin cancer and its risk factors is needed in the U.S., the company said in a release.
The company also presented SKINCHECKER, a public education campaign under this year’s SOS initiative, that encourages people to be more active in getting screened for skin cancer and prod loved ones to do the same. It also partnered with dermatologists through the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) to offer free skin checkups. In July, La Roche-Posay and WDS sponsored the SunSmart Chicago event, with free skin cancer screening for the general public. The event resulted in 670 skin cancer screenings, with 69 people recommended to have follow-up skin biopsies and 84 being referred to a specialist. One man’s early skin cancer detection led to a spin-off event.
Ross Forman, a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Chicago Marathon coach, directly experienced the importance of free skin cancer screenings. In the middle of an exercise run, Forman saw the SunSmart Chicago tent, and went in for a free screening of the bump he knew was on his chest. Said Forman: “I had this spot on my chest for some time, and it just wasn’t going away … Dr. [Rebecca] Tung told me that she could have me in and out, and screened, in 90 seconds.” Dr. Tung identified skin cancer within seconds and arranged for immediate follow-up care, in which removed a basal cell carcinoma. Forman’s early detection has made him a daily sun protection user and an advocate for regular skin screenings.
“To further encourage the appropriate use of daily and year-round sun safety precautions, the WDS has teamed up with La Roche-Posay for another year to raise awareness and educate all demographics,” Dr. Tung said. “Our message continues to grab the attention of many individuals; however, there is still much to do about educating the public on the benefits of regular sunscreen application. Our mission is to prevent skin cancer with proper protection and early detection every single day of the year.”
La Roche-Posay introduced the annual Save our Skin Campaign in 2010 to inform the public about the dangers of UV rays and the importance of avoiding skin cancer by establishing habits that include applying the right amount of sun screen (1 ounce) to exposed skin, reapplying it every two hours spent outdoors, and getting regular skin checkups.