La Roche-Posay Expands its SOS — Save Our Skin Program in Collaboration with the Women’s Dermatologic Society’s (WDS) Play Safe in the Sun Campaign to Launch a New Initiative Educating Children About Skin Cancer Awareness Both in the Classroom and on the Playground
NEW YORK, May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans is expected to develop skin cancer in their lifetime. And, studies show that having one or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence can more than double an individual’s chances of developing a melanoma later in life .
La Roche-Posay, a worldwide expert in ultraviolet (UV) protection, had this in mind when it launched its third annual SOS – Save Our Skin program to support the WDS’s ongoing Play Safe in the Sun campaign with the aim of educating parents and children about sun safety both inside the classroom and outside. This new program, “Time Out, Protect Your Skin” (TOPS), is making a real difference to raise awareness about skin cancer and sun protection one school at a time.
Beginning in early spring, New York City’s Grace Church School was the first recipient of the TOPS sun-safe makeover campaign to integrate sun safety education into the school’s curriculum and culminated the milestone with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 3rd.( )After the ceremony, representatives from La-Roche Posay and WDS dermatologists educated teachers, children and parents about the dangers of UV rays and the importance of limiting sun exposure at school and on the playground.
At the school’s May Fair event on May 5th, skin checks were performed by WDS dermatologists, 3,000 La Roche-Posay Anthelios sunscreen samples and UV bracelets were distributed, and 1,500 educational materials were passed out to parents and the public. With only 25 percent of children applying sunscreen when going outside, TOPS’ goal is to improve sun-safe behavior and communicate the harmful effects of UV rays to children, teachers and parents all over the country.
“We collaborated with WDS dermatologists to determine how to better educate children, parents and teachers about sun protection and skin cancer prevention,” said Yannick Raynaud, General Manager of La Roche-Posay USA. “As a result, La Roche-Posay has committed to supplying each TOPS school with shade-bearing awnings over highly trafficked play areas, protective sun hats, La Roche-Posay’s popular Anthelios sunscreen, educational pamphlets and UV bracelets that change color to let students know when they are being exposed to UV rays.”
“Skin cancer prevention is best started in childhood,” said Janet Hickman, MD, WDS president 2012-2013. “As part of the TOPS initiative, at the pilot school, local WDS dermatologists educated teachers, children and parents about the dangers of UV rays and the importance of limiting sun exposure when at school and on the playground. As a result of the TOPS program, many children learned how to incorporate sun protection into their daily lives and apply sunscreen properly. Everyone was also encouraged to visit dermatologists to receive yearly skin checks.”
Last year, La Roche-Posay’s SOS – Save Our Skin campaign performed over 2,500 free skin cancer screenings through the help of 50 volunteer dermatologists stationed at over 30 events nationwide. As a result of the campaign’s efforts in spreading awareness about skin cancer, suspicious lesions were found in almost one-third of the screenings, leading to dermatologist referrals for further investigation.
In addition to TOPS, La Roche-Posay’s SOS – Save Our Skin campaign will sponsor a series of other initiatives, including free skin checks at two New York Yankees’ games, and the SELF Workout in the Park, an annual event held by SELF magazine that draws thousands of women in three U.S. cities for a day of fitness and fun.
The campaign will continue to live on the SOS – Save Our Skin website, www.sossaveourskin.com, and the La Roche-Posay Facebook page, www.facebook.com/LaRochePosayusa, which will communicate the mission and details of the ongoing public awareness campaign. For a list of all related events and dates, please go to www.womensderm.org or www.sossaveourskin.com.
The Women’s Dermatologic Society, founded in 1973, is dedicated to helping dermatologists fulfill their greatest potential and assisting them in making a contribution to the specialty and society. To achieve this goal, the Society relies on the active participation of its members, who represent a diverse cross-section of professional subspecialties. The mission of the Women’s Dermatologic Society is to support dermatologists by striving to: promote leadership and the development of relationships through mentoring and networking; demonstrate a commitment to service through community outreach and volunteerism; provide a forum for communications and research relevant to women’s and family issues; advocate excellence in patient care and education, and promote the highest ethical standards.
About LA ROCHE-POSAY
La Roche-Posay offers a unique range of daily skincare developed with dermatologists to meet their standards in efficacy, tolerance and elegant textures for increased compliance. The products, which are developed using a strict formulation charter, include a minimal number of ingredients to reduce side effects and reactivity and are formulated with active ingredients at optimal concentrations for increased efficacy. Additionally, every La Roche-Posay product undergoes stringent clinical testing to ensure efficacy and safety, even on sensitive skin.
About SOS – Save Our Skin
Now in its third year, La Roche-Posay continues its SOS – Save Our Skin to not only inform Americans about the dangers of UV rays and the importance of sun safety, but to also incite true behavioral change, such as incorporating sun protection in their daily routines and visiting their dermatologists for regular skin checks. In partnership with the Women’s Dermatologic Society’s (WDS) Play Safe in the Sun Campaign, the SOS – Save Our Skin program also lives through a series of additional initiatives, such as skin checks at sporting events and drug stores, as well as free skin checks offered to all L’Oreal corporate employees. To learn how to do a self-check and choose the right protection, visit www.sossaveourskin.com.
For additional information about La Roche-Posay, visit www.laroche-posay.us and “like” the La Roche-Posay Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LaRochePosayusa. Download the La Roche-Posay “My UV Check” iPhone application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/myuvcheck-us/id433207689?mt=8.
 The Skin Cancer Foundation www.skincancer.org.
 Study conducted by Memorial Sloan-Kettering, epidemiologist Stephen Dusza.
SOURCE La Roche-Posay