Summer tan: dangerous delusions

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) warns that a significant portion of the population is dangerously ignorant about sun protection and the dangers of sunburn, which ultimately undermines their health.

In a new study and a survey conducted by scientists, they found that especially in young people aged 18-25 there is many misconceptions about sunburn and how to protect against it.

The survey showed that 60% of them sunbathed on the beach in 2021. More than one in four (27%) mistakenly believed that once their skin was tanned, they would be protected from sunburn. This is how they believe they can protect themselves from skin cancer too! Another 38% of respondents incorrectly stated that tanning is safe, as long as you don’t burn yourself.

The survey also showed that young people still believe in other myths about tanning and sun protection:

  • 54% say sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 provides twice as much protection as a sunscreen with SPF 15
  • 49% don’t know that someone can get a sunburn on a cloudy day if they sit in the sun for too long.
  • 39% believe that if they use a high SPF sunscreen, they don’t need to reapply it as often
  • 37% don’t know that the sun’s UV radiation can penetrate clothing, especially when it’s wet.
  • 23% don’t know they should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours of sun exposure.

“It’s alarming that so many people still think sunbathing is safe and healthy,” said lead researcher Brittany Craiglow, assistant professor of dermatology at Yale University.

“Just because someone doesn’t get sunburn doesn’t mean their skin isn’t damaged. The damage caused by the sun to the skin accumulates over time. So what we do today (negligently treat our own health and the recommendations of doctors), we will “reap” in the future. Do you need such trouble?”, – says the expert.

In fact damage from sunburn will not take long. 53% of the young people surveyed said they wanted to do more to protect their skin when they were younger, and 22% said they were already experiencing skin damage from sunburn. Another 28% of respondents did not know that tanning prematurely ages the skin, causing:

  1. pigmentation.
  2. Wrinkles.
  3. Flabbiness of the skin.

More than 1,000 American adults took part in the survey, who answered questions about their habits and opinions regarding the sun and tanning.

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