2022 – Dangerous body tanning is on the rise, tan myths persist

Written by Kara Morris, HealthDay reporter
Health Day Reporter

FRIDAY, May 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — While most people probably know that getting a sunburn isn’t safe, many may not know that tanning also increases the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.

A new survey by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) of more than 1,000 adults in the United States has found a sharp increase in both tans and the number of sunburns last year compared to 2020. As the summer season begins, the American Academy of Dermatology is encouraging people to protect. themselves.

Dr. said. Elizabeth Bahar Hochmand, MD, a Dallas-based dermatologist.

“When you tan, you are intentionally endangering your health,” she said in an academy press release. “If you want to look tanned, you should use a self-tanning product, but still use sunscreen with it.”

The AAD recommends seeking shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Hochmand advised to look for shadows when your shadow seems shorter than you.

Wear sunscreen, such as a long-sleeved shirt and pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-protective sunglasses. Clothing with a UV Protection Factor (UPF) on the label provides additional protection.

Apply a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed skin types. Broad spectrum sunscreen provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

About 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and 197,700 new cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year, according to the AAD.

In this latest survey, 63% of respondents said they got a tan in the past year, up from 54% in 2020. About 33% got a sunburn in 2021, down from 25% in 2020.

Bubbles from a sunburn in childhood or adolescence can nearly double a person’s risk of developing skin cancer.

About 28% of survey respondents who experienced a sunburn said the burns were so bad that their clothes felt uncomfortable. The most common burn sites were the face, arms, shoulders, and neck.

Nearly half of those surveyed believe one or more tanning myths, according to the survey. About 22% incorrectly said that a basic tan would prevent sunburn, and 18% said it would reduce the risk of skin cancer. One in five said they thought tanning was safe as long as they didn’t burn, and 13% thought tanning was healthy.

About 53% said that people with darker skin appear healthier.

About 39% of respondents were not aware of one or more of the risks of sunburn. Among them: you can get sunburn on a cloudy day or through a car window; That people with dark skin can get burns and that sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer.

“This increase in sunburn is very concerning,” Hochmand said. β€œBoth tanning and sunburn damage your skin. The more tanning and sunburning, the more this damage accumulates over time, increasing the risk of premature aging of the skin, including age spots, sagging and wrinkles, and skin cancer.”

more information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more on skin cancer.

Source: American Academy of Dermatology, press release, May 24, 2022