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La Roche-Posay launches ‘Save Our Skin’ campaign

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NEW YORK — La Roche-Posay has kicked off its second "SOS – Save Our Skin" campaign, which aims to inform Americans about the dangers of ultraviolet rays and the importance of sun safety and get them to take action.

La Roche-Posay has kicked off its second "SOS – Save Our Skin" campaign, which aims to inform Americans about the dangers of ultraviolet rays and the importance of sun safety and get them to take action.

The company said Monday that in its first year, the SOS – Save Our Skin online campaign reached thousands of people and drew hundreds more for skin checks at various events. In a third of those skin checks, suspicious lesions were found that resulted in dermatologist referrals for further investigation.

This year, La Roche-Posay said it aims to extends its reach through viral and grassroots efforts and further its goal of promoting behavioral change, such as swaying people to add sun protection to their daily routines and visit dermatologists for regular skin checks.

To promote education, more than 8,000 tool kits will be distributed to dermatologists to help educate patients about proper skin checks. The company said the campaign will also contain a viral component, including the new iPhone application "My UV Check," which will provide an index for the day’s UVA/UVB exposure in the user’s location, educate and alert users of the dangers of UV exposure and more.

Skin checks also will be held at two New York Yankees baseball games, and free skin checks are being offered to all L’Oreal corporate employees.

Also, as part of the campaign’s grassroots component, La Roche-Posay will make a grant of $750,000 to the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) over a three-year period to support the WDS Play Safe in the Sun campaign. ThWDS campaign aims to spread the message of sun safety and skin cancer prevention to the public through community service outreach events, including large-scale outdoor events and grassroots activities.

According to La Roche-Posay, a recent study of more than 1,600 adults showed that regular use of sunscreen led to a 50% decrease in melanoma.

"Play Safe in the Sun and SOS – Save Our Skin share the common goal of influencing the behavior of the general public and moving them to action regarding sun safety," stated Yannick Raynaud, general manager for La Roche-Posay USA. "With skin cancer on the rise, it’s important to educate as many people as possible about the dangers of sun exposure and the importance of daily sun protection and regular skin checks. This collaborative partnership will allow us to greatly broaden our reach, which is why we’re pleased to support this WDS initiative."

Play Safe in the Sun events are scheduled to begin this month — Melanoma Monday (May 2) and National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness & Early Detection Month — with an extensive grassroots event series featuring a "Coast to Coast" local community outreach program across 50 cities that will reach an estimated 25,000 people. WDS members will conduct skin checks in their areas as part of the public health initiative to educate about sun-safe behaviors.

The campaign will also target the worlds of professional women’s golf and tennis, according to La Roche-Posay. Studies have shown that participants in these sports, both athletes and spectators, face a heightened risk of developing skin cancer due to prolonged sun exposure and cumulative sun damage, the company said. In addition, free skin cancer screenings and sun safety education will be offered at other non-sporting events. New studies indicate that women with melanoma have a higher risk of other malignancies, including breast cancer.

Board-certified WDS member dermatologists will serve as volunteers at all Play Safe in the Sun events, where skin checks will be offered to all participants. La Roche-Posay said it also will provide thousands of Anthelios sunscreen samples per year to be provided at events. Educational materials containing information on sun safety practices, including proper sunscreen use and application, will be distributed as well.


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