April 12, 2007

General Inquiries:

Kerry Parker
| (1-877-937-7673)

Media Inquiries:
Nancy FitzGerald
(760) 333-9296


Thousands of adults and students will benefit from the Women’s Dermatologic Society’s award-winning “Families Play Safe in the Sun” outreach.

(April 12, 2007—Atlanta, GA) — In a metropolitan area known for its cultural diversity, Atlanta members of the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) will promote family sun safety and good skin health habits for people of all skin types and ages at the popular Dogwood Festival, April 14-15. Through the acclaimed WDS educational outreach campaign, Families Play Safe in the Sun, a team of local volunteers will offer FREE skin cancer screenings, sun damage assessments, educational materials, sunscreen giveaways and children’s activities on Saturday, April 14, from 10 am- 6 pm and Sunday, April 15, from noon-6 pm to the public at the Women’s Dermatologic Society booth at the Festival, located in the Kids Village area (near Park Drive entrance). Children may partake in UV meter readings, a sun safety quiz and a coloring contest to learn more about proper sun protection.

WDS Board member Rutledge Forney, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice, who is an Associate Clinical Professor at Emory University, hosts the Atlanta community service effort. Atlanta is the tenth stop of a 15-city, 3-year national tour made possible by a $1,000,000 grant from the 3M Foundation. According to Suzanne Connolly, MD, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Arizona, who leads the national
WDS community service effort, the mission of Families Play Safe in the Sun is to “educate, encourage, and empower people of all ages to make sun safety a way of life, and practice proper skin health habits on a daily basis.”

As part of the
WDS sun safety recommendations geared for families, parents and kids are reminded to:

  • Apply broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB protection) sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outdoors;
  • Use a golf-ball size of sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, re-applied all over face and body every two hours;
  • Check expiration dates of sunscreen to ensure product effectiveness;
  • Remember that the sun’s rays can be harmful even under cloudy skies and cooler temperatures;
  • Use extra precautions with sun exposure on the water and in higher altitudes, which can significantly increase harmful UV exposure;
  • Wear hat, sunglasses and sun-protective clothing, seeking shade whenever possible.

The WDS campaign draws from its 1,300 members nationwide to provide volunteer support in local communities to reach out to diverse populations to heighten sun safety awareness and healthy practices. The Women’s Dermatologic Society recently earned the prestigious Gold Triangle Award from the American Academy of Dermatology for its Families Play Safe in the Sun campaign.

The family-oriented sun safety educational campaign is presented to the public at a time when:

Skin cancer ranks as the most common form of cancer in America, with more than one million new diagnoses expected in 2007.
-Skin cancer is the fastest-growing category of cancer for young people ages 18-29.
-One in five Americans and one in three Caucasians will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

If caught in its earliest stages, melanoma, the most severe form of skin cancer, is highly treatable; if left undetected, it can be fatal. Because overexposure to the sun is the primary and most preventable cause of skin cancer, people of all ages and skin types need to make the daily commitment to safeguard their health and young people are urged to develop strong sun safety habits early in life.

In addition to generous funding from the 3M Foundation, product donations will be provided by Banana Boat, Cabana Life, Coolibar; Del-Ray Dermatologicals; Ortho Neutrogena; Procter & Gamble; Schering-Plough; Skyrad; and Starberry, Ltd.

For more information, visit or call 1-877-WDS-ROSE (937-7673). A 60-second public service announcement promoting sun safety is available for viewing by visiting the website,

For further information about Women’s Dermatologic Society, visit:

Contact Kerry Parker, Executive Director, at 1-877-WDS-ROSE

The Women's Dermatologic Society supports the careers and professional development of women dermatologists. The mission of the Women’s Dermatologic Society is to help women in dermatology achieve their greatest personal and professional potential by striving to: foster, promote, and support women’s issues in dermatology; identify, train, and recognize women leaders in dermatology; and provide a forum for developing relationships.