In recognition of Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Melanoma Monday, observed today, May 4, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) is asking the public, "Who's Got Your Back?" The Academy's campaign is spreading awareness of the importance of applying sunscreen and examining skin for suspicious-looking spots.
Join the conversation on social media with @SkinIncMagazine and @AADskin with the hashtags: #whosgotyourback and #melanomamonday.
According to a Dermatology 2015 survey, the Academy found the following about the public's skin-protecting practices:
- 37% rarely or never apply sunscreen to their back when it’s exposed to the sun;
- 43% rarely or never ask someone else to help them apply sunscreen to their back;
- 14% would not take any action if no one else were around to help;
- Only 36% of people examine their back for signs of skin cancer at least once a year; and
- Only 35% of people ask someone else to help them examine hard-to-see areas of their skin for signs of skin cancer.
The Academy also found a difference between women and men:
- Men (40%) are more likely than women (33%) to rarely or never apply sunscreen to their back
- Men (47%) are more likely than women (40%) to rarely or never ask someone else for help;
- Men (10%) are twice as likely as women 5%) to report that they wouldn’t feel comfortable asking anyone to apply sunscreen to their back; and
- 51% of men and 35% of women don’t know how to examine their skin for signs of skin cancer.
“Who’s Got Your Back?”
To emphasize the importance of sun protection on the back, the Academy released a “Who’s Got Your Back?” video in conjunction with Melanoma Monday. Also, check out the "Who's Got Your Back?" infographic!
“When you perform a skin self-exam, it’s important to check your entire body, including your back,” Mark Lebwohl, MD, FAAD, president of the Academy says. “It can be difficult to examine certain areas by yourself, including the back, so ask someone you trust, like a spouse or family member, to help you.”
For more information about how to prevent and detect skin cancer, including instructions on how to perform a skin self-exam, visit www.spotskincancer.org.