A quarter of Brits have never checked their skin for life-threatening changes, despite more than 100,000 new cases and 2,500 deaths annually from skin cancer.
In partnership with the British Skin Foundation, a recent study of 2,207 adults by skin checking app Miiskin found one in four (23%) have never checked for the number of moles or changes in skin appearance, and 17% of under-35s believing they were too young or underexposed to the sun.
Just 9% of under-45s thought they should check their skin if advised by a medical professional and 3% of the study’s respondents had a mole they were concerned about, but did not have it checked out.
However, self-checking has proved to be on the rise with 31% claiming to conduct monthly checks – as recommended by the British Skin Foundation. The ‘selfie’ method has been adopted by almost a fifth of under 35s, with 18% using photos to capture any changes.
Jon Friis, founder and CEO of Miiskin, said: “With cases of skin cancer increasing in the UK, the self-checking message is starting to sink in for some, but not all. Keeping track of changes to your skin can be a challenge – and many people are now using technology to spot and document changes to their skin. Early detection is important for successful treatment.”
Despite this, the latest results from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicating a 35.8% 10-year rise in skin cancer deaths are supported by Miiskin’s study, whereby one in 10 admit to using tanning beds (13% more than once a week) and only 38% claiming to use sun cream when exposed to the sun.