Drivers fail to use sun protection

February 11, 2013

Most patients believe it’s not necessary to use sunscreen or other sun protection measures while driving, according to results of a retrospective survey.

 

Most patients believe it’s not necessary to use sunscreen or other sun protection measures while driving, according to results of a retrospective survey.

Researchers from Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y., and colleagues conducted a retrospective survey of patients who had been seen at a Mohs micrographic surgery clinic, according to the study abstract. Most patients said they believed there was no need to use sunscreen while driving, especially if windows were closed.

Fewer patients reported wearing sunscreen while in a car (52 percent) compared with general daily sunscreen use (27 percent). Researchers noted there was a “significant left-sided predominance” of nonmelanoma skin cancers except in patients who rode in vehicles with tinted windows.

“Our results reveal poor patient awareness of and compliance with sun-protection measures while in an automobile,” study authors concluded. “Skin cancer prevention efforts should be modified to specifically address automobile-related sun exposure.”

Investigators also noted the retrospective survey study design isn’t as ideal as a randomized, controlled trial, and that additional limitations of their survey included selection bias, small sample size and recall bias.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.