Virtual Conference

Radhika S R

Assistant Professor at Sapthagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, India

Title: Knowledge, attitude and practice about sun protection and usage of sunscreen among undergraduate students


Introduction & Objectives: Sun exposure is related to deleterious effects like tanning, sunburn, early aging, aggravation of various photodermatoses and development of skin cancers. India is a tropical country with less awareness about self-care despite an increase in outdoor work and lower literacy in the countryside. We conducted the present study to assess knowledge, attitude and practice about sun protection and usage of sunscreen among undergraduate students.

Materials & Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among several universities for a period of ttwo months. Questionnaire containing 30 questions were administered.

Results: 800 volunteers filled the questionnaire. The participants comprised of undergraduate students in the age group of 18-25 years, majority were females. 88% of the volunteers used sunscreen out of which 58% used it routinely and 35% used it only during a sunny day. The majority 71% applied sunscreen once a day and only 2% applied every 2 hours. The correct application 15-20 mins prior to exposure was followed in  62%. 17% chose sunscreen based on price. 87% did not experience allergic reaction to sunscreen. Prevention of tanning was the most  common reason for usage. 33.5% experienced allergic reaction on sun exposure. Oiliness and whitish hue were the common limitations. 59% agreed prolonged exposure to UVB rays causes cancers. 53% agreed sun screen is not a causative for vitamin D deficiency. Sunscreen was preferred prior to swimming in 68%, on a cloudy day in 48%, while staying indoors in 37%. Health care professionals advised 47% to use sunscreen and the rest were influenced by family, friends and social media. Majority answered that sunscreen is meant only for adults. 74% answered that maximum tanning happened at the dessert followed by water sport activity, 11% felt that exposure in the snow causes tanning. Half the study population were not aware of signs of aging caused by visible light from gadgets and the need for reapplication with increased screen time. 37% preferred to use a sunscreen prior to application of makeup products labelled with SPF.

Conclusion: Our study showed that majority used sunscreen and were well aware with regard to benefits of usage but the knowledge about correct method of application is lacking in the study population. The most common reason that deterred the usage was oiliness and whitish hue that lead to cosmetical nonacceptance of sunscreens and remains the major constrains which should be modified. The routine application even when indoors or on cloudy day, the frequency of application should be highlighted.
Although the deleterious effects of sun damage such as skin cancers are commonly seen in the western world, pigmentary and aging changes are commoner in our country and can be prevented with adequate photo protective measures.


Dr. Radhika S R is a Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetologist and Trichologist with over 8 years of experience and is working in SAPTHAGIRI MEDICAL COLLEGE, BANGALORE, INDIA as ASSISTANT PROFESSOR in department of DVL. Her qualification is MBBS, MD, DNB (DVL), FRGUHS (Trichology). She did her MD from Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in 2019 and specialized Fellowship in Trichology from Bangalore Medical College (BMC) in 2021. She is a member of Indian Association of Dermatologist, Venereologist and Leprosy (IADVL), Bangalore Dermatological Society (BDS), and also Association of Cutaneous Surgeons of India (ACSI). She is holding a post of Academic convener in BDS for the term 2021-2023. Her area of interest is in TRICHOLOGY, DERMOSCOPY, CLINICAL DERMATOLOGY