Serving the professional tennis community for the first time with the message of sun safety, volunteers representing the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) hit new outreach records through a busy day of skin cancer screenings at a recent Kids Day at the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament in New Haven, CT. Known as Play Safe in the Sun, this 3-year sun safety campaign is provided to outdoor athletes in collaborative partnership with L’Oreal USA, at a time when melanoma rates are rising among younger women, ages 18-29. WDS members and board-certified Connecticut dermatologists Mona Gohara, MD and Sumaira Aasi, MD, both Yale University faculty members, co-chaired this successful outreach, staged at an important final competition leading to the U.S. Open. “Our partnership with the WDS underscores our commitment to research in sun protection and educating consumers on the importance of sun safety,” stated Philippe Patsalides, General Manager of L’Oreal Cosmetics Division.  Event highlights include:

  • A one-day record of 147 skin cancer screenings were conducted for tennis fans attending Kids Day at the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament, including several parents who brought their children in for their first screenings.
  • 30% of the individuals who were screened were referred to dermatologists for further diagnosis/biopsy of suspicious sites presumptively diagnosed as skin cancer.
  • Tennis fans received 5,000 free samples of broad-spectrum sunscreen with reminders to “re-apply in-between sets” and use a “ping-pong ball size amount of sunscreen.”
  • New Haven Mayor John DiStefano, Jr. declared “Play Safe in the Sun” Day in the city in recognition of the local sun safety outreach.