Sun-protection and sun-exposure habits among sailors: results of the 2018 world's largest sailing race Barcolana’ skin cancer prevention campaign

I. Zalaudek, C. Conforti, P. Corneli, R. Jurakic Toncic, N. di Meo, M. A. Pizzichetta, M. Fadel, G. Mitija, C. Curiel-Lewandrowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Epidemiologic data suggest an increased risk of melanoma (MM) and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in persons with intense recreational sun-exposure such as marathon runners or surfers. Up to data little is known about the sun-exposure habits, sun-protection behaviours and risk factors for MM and NMSC among sailors. Objective: The objective of this prospective, cross-sectional study was to investigate the sun-exposure and sun-protective habits and risk factors for skin cancer among sailors attending the 50° edition of Barcolana, the largest sailing race in of the world, which took place in October 2018 in Trieste, Italy as an integrative component of a public sun-prevention campaign. Methods: The study consisted of 2 parts: (i) a self-administered questionnaire focusing on sun-exposure and protective habits and (ii) a free skin examination carried out by volunteer dermatologists. Participation was optional and anonymous, and open to visitors and sailors attending the event. Results: Overall, 431 (52.4%) sailors and 391 (47.6%) visitors responded to the questionnaire, while a total of 437 individuals including 189 (43.3%) sailors and 248 (56.6%) visitors participated in the skin examination group. The majority of sailors reported a past history of severe sunburns (20.2%), applied sunscreen never (14.4%) to sometimes (45.7%) or only once daily (59%) on the face (55%) and shoulders (26%). Moreover, 14% of sailors had a personal history of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). During the dermatological examination, suspicious lesions for skin cancer (including MM and NMSC) were identified in 37% of the sailors. Conclusion: Our findings support the need to develop and promote primary and secondary prevention strategies to improve the sun-exposure and sun-protective habits among sailors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-418
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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