People know sun protection is important, but often skip it

Research we're watching

Published: August, 2020

While more than three-quarters of Americans say that sun protection is important, less than half actually use it on a regular basis when they're heading outside, according to a survey by the American Academy of Dermatology. Some 28% of those polled said they rarely or never use sun protection, which includes using sunscreen, staying in the shade outside whenever possible, and wearing clothing such as hats or other items that can protect against the sun's rays. Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancers, affecting one in every five Americans, so the AAD says it's important that people take steps to protect themselves. The AAD recommends that you

  • wear sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher
  • stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when its rays are the most intense
  • use clothing to protect your skin, such as a hat and long-sleeved shirt.

Image: © Aleksej Sarifulin/Getty Images

Disclaimer:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.