(HealthDay)—Individuals with previous nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) are more likely to engage in certain sun protection behaviors than those without previous NMSC, according to a study published online May 16 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Alexander H. Fischer, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined whether individuals with previous NMSC engage in better protection than individuals with no history. Self-reported data were pooled from U.S. non-Hispanic white adults (758 with and 34,161 without previous NMSC).

The researchers found that individuals with versus those without NMSC had higher rates of frequent use of shade (adjusted prevalence odds ratio [aPOR], 1.41; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.16 to 1.71), long sleeves (aPOR, 1.55; 95 percent CI, 1.21 to 1.98), a wide-brimmed hat (aPOR, 1.52; 95 percent CI, 1.24 to 1.87), and (aPOR, 2.11; 95 percent CI, 1.73 to 2.59); however, they did not have lower odds of recent sunburn (aPOR, 0.95; 95 percent CI, 0.77 to 1.17). Recent sunburn was inversely associated with age, sun avoidance, and shade, but not with sunscreen use among those with previous NMSC.

"Physicians should emphasize prevention when counseling patients with previous NMSC, especially younger adults, focusing on shade and sun avoidance over sunscreen," the authors write.