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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2005 February;140(1):45-54


language: English, Italian

Different sun exposure habits based on sex, age, phototype and education

Stinco G. 1, Zanchi M. 1, Quinkenstein E. 1, Favot F. 1, Valent F. 2, Patrone P. 1

1 Dermatology Clinic Department of Experimental and Clinical Medical Pathology University of Udine, Udine 2 Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology University of Udine, Udine


Aim. We analysed sun exposure attitudes and the knowledge of sun-related terminology in a group of persons living in Friuli Venezia Giulia with the aim to find out hazardous behaviours. On the basis of the results obtained we try to understand where and how to promote our educational efforts.
Methods. An anonymous questionnaire consisting of 74 items was administered to 2757 residents in Friuli Venezia Giulia concerning physical features, knowledge of terminology and sun-exposure attitudes. The data have been described for the whole sample and studied by logistic regression methods of analysis.
Results. A very large proportion of interviewed people (80.1%) reported sunbathing, preferably in summer at the seaside. The statistical analysis of our data showed that 6.1% of our sample do sunbathing between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., mainly young people aged 14-25 years, and that a high phototype and a low education level are a risk factor for sun-exposure more than 4 h daily. Sunscreens are more used by females (77%), by persons with high education levels (84%), low phototype and by persons who know the meaning of the term “melanoma” (86%). The purchase of sun protection products is rarely influenced by the dermatologist (6.5%), general practitioner (2.6%) or chemist (15.2%). The knowledge of commonly used sun-related terminology seems to be quite poor.
Conclusion. This study shows that there is still a lot to do to awaken people to the importance of a correct sun exposure. Certainly, age and level of education influence sun exposure habits. The target of our intervention are young people and the dermatologist should partecipate actively at primary prevention.

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