Survey Shows Low Awareness, High Risk of Actinic Keratosis from Sun Exposure


A recent survey conducted by Almirall showed gaps in public awareness about actinic keratosis (AK) and the associated risks of sun exposure.

The survey, which included more than 2,500 participants aged 35 and older from Spain, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, revealed that more than half of the population has never had their skin checked by a professional. Furthermore, 50% of Europeans report getting sunburned at least once a year, a figure that rises to over 60% in the 35-44 age group.

Actinic keratosis is one of the most common precancerous dermatological conditions, affecting approximately 13.3% of the European population. Despite its prevalence and the risk of progression to squamous cell carcinoma, 85% of respondents were unaware of AK's existence. More than one-third of those with AK did not know that overexposure to sunlight is a primary cause.

"Actinic keratosis lesions are closely related to overexposure to sun’s UV light," said Dr. Volker Koscielny, chief medical officer at Almirall, in a news release. "This year’s survey data show that there is still a significant lack of awareness of the long-term risks of excessive sun exposure without adequate protection. Addressing this lack of awareness is a key factor in preventing the development of actinic keratosis lesions as pre-forms of cancer."

Almirall has launched the "Stay Vigilant" campaign as part of AK Global Day to raise public awareness about AK and its links to prolonged sun exposure. This year's campaign focuses on encouraging regular skin check-ups to detect AK lesions early and promote consultation with healthcare professionals.

Source: Almirall news release. May 24, 2024.

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