According to the Health Education Authority (HEA) almost a third of men thought they were safe from the harmful effects of the sun's rays. Only one in five women held the same view.
The survey also discovered that men were far less likely to use sunscreens. The cumulative effect was that 29 per cent of men reported having been burnt during the last year as opposed to 23 per cent of women.
Despite the growing number of skin cancer cases, more than 40,000 last year, the HEA believes many have not got the message. The problem has been exacerbated by millions taking to foreign beaches each summer with many ignoring the need for sunscreens.