Military Dermatology

Photoprotection Prevents Skin Cancer: Let’s Make It Fashionable to Wear Sun-Protective Clothing

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Final Thoughts

The battle to educate the public about adequate photoprotection to prevent skin cancers caused by UVR exposure applies to all providers, both military and civilian. Our ongoing initiatives should not only sustain current practices but should further stress the importance of wearing wide-brimmed hats as a vital part of coverage of the skin and protection from UVR. We must combat the public perception that wearing wide-brimmed hats is a detractor of personal fashion and that instead it is desirable to reduce the risk for skin cancer. The wide-brimmed hat is a simple, reusable, and easily executed recommendation that should be made to all patients, both military and civilian, young and old. In conclusion, by improving patients’ perceptions and acknowledgment of the importance of photoprotection as well as making a concerted effort to integrate our knowledge in the fashion industry, in policies at schools, in the military, and in popular culture, we will undoubtedly come to agree that it is not unfashionable to wear a wide-brimmed hat, but it is unfashionable to risk developing skin cancer.

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