Nearly half of men in the US admit to not using sunscreen in the past 12 months, and 70 percent of men don’t even know what skin cancer looks like or where, when and how to look for it, a new survey shows.

The new survey was conducted by the Skin Cancer Foundation in partnership with the makers of Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic brand sunscreens.

"These results are especially concerning when we consider that men over age 50 are more than twice as likely as women to develop and die from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer," says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation and an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. “The survey results confirm what I see in my practice every day – men just aren’t incorporating sun protection into their lives," he says in a press release.

According to the new survey, men do not follow recommended sunscreen usage guidelines. For example, 79 percent of men are not aware that the recommended amount of sunscreen to use per application is one ounce. Moreover, a majority of men mistakenly believe that one sunscreen application protects skin for at least 4 hours, even though the recommended reapplication is every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. Only 32 percent of men consider themselves extremely or very knowledgeable about how to properly use sunscreen to get adequate protection.

The survey also asked men about the importance of early skin cancer detection including skin self exams and clinical skin exams. The majority of men don’t know how to perform a skin cancer self-exam or what to look for. More than half stated they are unlikely to see a medical professional for a clinical skin exam.

About the Survey

The online survey included 1,000 male and female respondents, with a 3-3.5% margin of error. Participants were asked usage behaviors, outdoor activity, purchase habits, barriers to use, skin care regimen and practices, and more.