BACKGROUND. The damaging effects of ultraviolet light (UVL) on the skin and the importance of using photoprotective sunscreen and other sun-protective measures are well recognized by beachgoers. However, it is currently unknown if UVL is well recognized as a modifiable risk factor for lip cancer and if photoprotective lipblock and sunscreen are used to the same extent in this setting. OBJECTIVE. Evaluation of UVL lip protection and knowledge about the role of UVL as a risk factor for lip cancer in a high-risk outdoor environment. METHOD. Anonymous questionnaire given to a convenience sample of beachgoers on Galveston Island, Texas, beaches during the summer. RESULTS. There were 299 survey responses. Subjects using sunscreen to protect their skin were also more likely to use UVL lip protection (p = .0002). Excluding the use of cosmetic lipsticks, women were still more likely to use UVL lip protection than men (p = .0008). Tobacco users were less likely to use lip protection than nontobacco users (p = .03). Survey respondents demonstrated much greater knowledge about UVL damage to skin than about the risk factors for lip cancer (p <. 0001). CONCLUSION. More public education focused on UVL lip protection from UVL is needed.
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