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05-06-10 | Posted by


Suntelligence: How Sun Smart is Your City?

A survey by the American Academy of Dermatology, “Suntelligence: How Sun Smart is Your City?”, polled over 7,000 adults nationwide in 26 cities to determine their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward tanning, sun protection and skin cancer detection.

Congratulations to the biggest winners – Hartford, Salt Lake City and Denver – which ranked No. 1, 2 and 3. Yet Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh fell to the bottom of the sun-smart spectrum with rankings of 24, 25 and 26, respectively.

Early detection is key to skin cancer survival. When they examined skin cancer detection behaviors, 59% nationally had never been screened for skin cancer by a health-care provider. A staggering 69% of Pittsburgh respondents and 67% of Chicagoans admitted that they had never had an examination – putting them at greater risk for deadly melanomas and other forms of skin cancer.

To minimize your risk of skin cancer, the AAD recommends that everyone Be Sun Smart®:

  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to all exposed skin. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Re-apply every 2 hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear protective clothing – long-sleeved shirt, pants, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade – the sun’s rays are strongest between 10  and 4
  • Protect children from sun exposure by playing in the shade, using protective clothing, and applying sunscreen.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand – which reflect the rays of the sun and can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Get your daily dose of vitamin D through a healthy diet and vitamin supplements.
  • Avoid tanning beds. If you want to get a glow, use a sunless self-tanner, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
  • If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a Dermatologist.

Visit www.melanomamonday.org to take the “Suntelligence” survey, and find out how to perform a skin self-exam, download a body mole map or find free skin cancer screenings near you.

*The “Suntelligence” survey was conducted for the Academy by RH Research of Chicago from January 12 to January 31, 2010. A total of 7,116 respondents completed the online survey; more than 200 completes were conducted in each of the 26 selected MSAs (metropolitan statistical area) and an additional 1,123 completes were conducted in the U.S. outside of the MSAs. The survey’s margin of error was ±1.2 percent for national data and ±6.9 percent for results stratified by MSA.

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