2017 SHARC Report
Skin health issues are particularly important in Australia. The Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc's SHARC Report reveals evidence of the health of our skin, what we think about our skin, and how we are caring for and protecting our skin.
This is the fourth year that we have commissioned a national population survey that tracks attitudinal and behavioural changes related to the skin health of the Australian population, with the results analysed and published as the SHARC Report.
Skin health issues have a high impact on the quality of life of Australians, a fact that is not often recognised. The 2017 Skin Health Australia Report Card – the 2017 SHARC Report – helps to highlight the ways that skin issues can have an affect on people’s social life, relationships, work and well-being.
At the same time, the SHARC Report aims to increase the knowledge and awareness of skin issues of Australians with a goal of Australians taking better care of their skin, including by avoiding the unexpected sunburns that the survey found so prevalent, by regularly checking their skin, and by using protective measures such as sunscreen.
The key findings of the 2017 SHARC Report are on the importance of skin issues to the quality of life of Australians, and the importance of skin care, in particular, avoiding sunburns.
Skin issues and problems have a high impact on the quality of life of Australians and this is often not recognised. Issues related to our skin affect many aspects of our quality of life, including socialising, playing sport, wearing clothes, sexual activities, and relations with partners, close friends and relatives.
The 2017 SHARC Report found that over four in ten Australians believe that a skin condition affects their quality of life. 43% of adult Australians surveyed reported that a skin condition had a small to extremely large effect on their quality of life. That means about 8.6 million Australians have a skin condition that is impacting their life in some way. This is the highest recorded result in the four years the SHARC has been published.
One of the key findings of the SHARC Report was that the number of Australians getting sunburnt has been steadily rising over the past four years. 68% of adults (equivalent to 13.6 million Australians2) reported an unexpected sunburn in the last two years, a figure that has been steadily rising since 2014 when it was 65%. This upward trend suggests Australians are becoming increasingly complacent about the risks of skin cancer and melanoma.
25-34 year olds were the most complacent with 82% reporting sunburn in the last two years and 76% of 35-44 year olds.
Another key finding was that skin health is a workplace issue. The 2017 SHARC Report found that over two million employees who work outdoors are not being provided with any sun protection by their employers. 45% of respondents reported that they are required to work outdoors sometimes, regularly or all the time. That is equivalent to eight million adult Australians.
Despite this large figure, 57% of outdoor workers say their employers do not supply sunscreen, 66% do not supply protective clothing and 80% do not provide sunglasses.
Download a copy of the 2017 SHARC Report (2.13Mb)
Far from just cosmetic, skin issues are affecting our
quality of life
Not sinking in:
Australians are forgetting the sun safe message
Employers getting better but millions of workers still exposed to risk of workplace sun damage