April 21 (UPI) -- Researchers found in a recent study that patients with hyperpigmentation are more likely to use sunscreen, but not other sun protections, compared to their peers.
The study, conducted by Boston Medical Center, or BMC, and Boston University School of Medicine, or BUSM, analyzed 404 adults who were diagnosed with cutaneous hyperpigmentation.
The majority of patients, 67.5 percent, reported using sunscreen -- significantly higher than the general public -- and 91 percent endorsed using a product with a sun protection factor of 21 or higher.
The study also showed fewer patients with hyperpigmentation taking other sun precautions or reapplying sunscreen every two hours as is recommended. Only 7.6 percent reported reapplying sunscreen every two hours. And nearly half of the respondents, 48.5 percent, didn't know if their sunscreen had broad spectrum protection.
The type of hyperpigmentation also played a role in the use of sun protection. Patients with melasma, which causes brown patches on the face, were 6.7 times more likely to use sunscreen as a patient with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
"It is important for providers to educate patients on the many ways to keep their skin safe in the sun," Dr. Neelam Vashi, director of the Center for Ethnic Skin at Boston University and BMC and an assistant professor of dermatology at BUSM, said in a press release. "It's encouraging that so many patients are utilizing sunscreen, but we can still improve the practice of safe sun behaviors by improving counseling early in patients' diagnosis, recommending sunscreen use for all ethnicities, and providing a wide range of methods to decrease sun exposure."