Many Older Adults Don’t Protect Their Skin From the Sun

Less than half of older adults protect their skin from the sun when outside for an hour or more on a warm, sunny day. This may raise their risk of getting cancer.

Each year in the U.S., more than 5 million people are treated fro skin cancer at a cost of about $8.1 billon. Most cases of skin cancer are found in people older tahn 65 years of age, but little attention has been given to ways to reduce skin cancer risk among people in this age group. Because older adults are living longer, the need for public health efforts to promote life-long skin health is more critical than ever.

A major risk factor for most skin cancers is too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Making sun protection an everyday habit can help prevent sunburns and lower a person’s chances of getting skin cancer.

In a study, CDC researchers used responses to questions in the 2015 National Health Interview Survey to find out how often older adults in the U.S. do each of the following when outside in the sun. Stay inside, use sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat, wear clothing to the ankles.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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