Men lagging behind women in sun protection

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The sunshine sure boosted spirits on Thursday, but were you wearing any sunscreen? A new survey finds most Americans still don’t use it regularly. Men are much less likely than women to use it.

“I have a great parrot hat. Very colorful,” said Clem Bartnett, a school crossing guard, as he showed off one of the crazy hats he wears to entertain kids and protect his head from the sun. He also wears sunscreen.

“It rubs in. Really, you can’t even tell it’s there,” he said.

Bartnett has had a dozen cancers cut out of his skin, the result of not wearing sunscreen earlier in life.

“I would never go anywhere without putting it on now,” he said.

A new Centers for Disease Control survey finds few men are wearing sunscreen. Just 18 percent said they used it on the face most of the time when they’re outside compared to 43 percent of women.

A doctor with Kansas Medical Clinic says everyone should wear it every day to protect against cancer, wrinkles and age spots.

“For me, it doesn’t really matter what brand of sunscreen you get just as long as you’re putting something on a daily basis. So it can be 4 dollars or it can be 35 dollars,” said Dr. Kyle Anderson, a dermatologist.

Dr. Anderson does suggest an SPF or sun protection factor of 50.

“Cost now, it’s the same for a 15 or a 50 so you get a little bit more benefit, why not go for the 50,” he said.

And men should get over the idea that sunscreen isn’t manly.

“That’s the way I was. I felt it was feminine, but the stuff they have now, you just rub it in and you can’t even tell it’s on,” said Bartnett.

You might add a hat, too. It doesn’t have to be as crazy as Clem’s.

Consumer Reports just came out with its “Best Buys” in sunscreen. They are No-Ad Sport Lotion SPF 50, Equate Ultra Protection Lotion SPF 50 and Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30. The latter two are sold at Wal-Mart.

But you should know that the FDA is concerned that people may not apply enough spray to get full SPF protection, and it’s looking into whether the sprays are safe to be inhaled.



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