Survey Highlights Room for Improvement in AK Awareness


As many as 85% of people are unaware of AK, according to a new survey from Almirall.

As many as 85% of people are unaware of actinic keratosis (AK), according to a new survey from Almirall.

The survey of more than 2,500 participants over the age or 35 aimed to understand the level of knowledge about AK and skin health habits within the general population of Spain, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the US.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of this condition and encourage people who have been exposed to UV radiation over the years to recognize AK lesions as a warning sign.

The majority of people (57.73%) don’t ever get their skin checked by a professional. Moreover, almost a third do not check their skin at least once a year to find signs of suspicious marks and lesions. These data vary depending on the country. In the case of the UK, more than 8 out of 10 respondents do not have their skin checked by professionals, the survey found.

More than three out of ten people who practice outdoor pursuits don’t use sunscreen often (34.47%), and more than half of people who practice outdoor pursuits get sunburnt at least once a year (52.01%).

“As a dermatologist, I know that tackling actinic keratosis is a good way to see fewer cases of squamous cell carcinoma walk through my door. That’s why Euromelanoma is pleased to support the annual AK Global Day and its important public message to see AK as an early warning sign. We encourage everybody to see 24th May as a day to talk about, and check for, actinic keratosis,” says Veronique del Marmol, Chair of Euromelanoma, in a news release.

“AK Global Day, taking place on the 24th May each year, has become an important initiative in our commitment to caring for people with potentially life-changing skin conditions. To manage something, you must first be aware of it. It’s very likely everyone knows at least one person with AK, so our hope is that this annual campaign gets more people talking about AK,” says Dr. Volker Koscielny, Chief Medical Officer at Almirall.

About the survey

In March and April 2023, Almirall surveyed approximately 500 +35yr olds in each of the following countries: Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK, and the US. Totaling 2,543 responses, of which 2,496 were valid, the survey asked 15 questions designed to understand the public’s sun protection behaviors and their awareness of, and attitudes towards, actinic keratosis. In terms of demographics, respondents were distributed as follows: 60.82% of respondents were between 35 and 54 years of age, 36.94% between 55 and 74, and 2.24% were 75 or older, whereas 55,96% identified as female and 44,04% as male.

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