And the Country With the Highest Rate of Melanoma Is ...


Get some SPF 50 sunscreen on that skin! (Photo: Getty Images)

Australia has held the No. 1 spot for the country having the highest rate of melanoma for years now, but this isn’t the case anymore. A new study has found that New Zealand has overtaken Australia in that unfortunate ranking, with a whopping 50 cases of melanoma occurring per 100,000 people compared with Australia’s 48.

This recent research, found in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, blames this high number on New Zealand’s lack of investing in adequate prevention. Researchers believe that Australia’s drop in melanoma rates is related to its government’s efforts to implement melanoma-prevention campaigns, like the “no hat, no play” school policy that was recently put into place, the Guardian reports.

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Although New Zealand and Australia have extremely high UV levels, which make their inhabitants more susceptible to burns, it’s important to take sun damage seriously no matter where you live. According to Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, MD, director of cosmetic dermatology at South Shore Medical Center in Massachusetts and consultant for HydroPeptide, it’s important to use different sunscreens for different daily activities.

“If prepping for a day of outdoor activities, wear physical blockers containing zinc and titanium oxide,” Imahiyerobo-Ip says. “However, for optimal skin protection on a daily basis, it is best to incorporate a moisturizer with sunscreen in it to ensure you’re protected.” Try the HydroPeptide Solar Defense ($44) as a daily sunscreen, since it’s packed with antioxidants and will also help fight free-radical damage in addition to protecting you from the UV rays.

If there’s one lesson to learn here, no matter what continent you’re on, it’s to never skip your sun protection!

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