One in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). In 2022, there will be an estimated 198 000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed, the Academy reports.
As summer 2022's record high temperatures fuel dangerous conditions across the US, adequate heat and sun protection are higher priorities than usual. Findings from a new AAD survey conducted just before the Fourth of July weekend underscore the caution.
The survey of more than 1,000 US adults revealed that many of those aged 18-25 years, aka Generation Z, are not aware of the dangers associated with sun overexposure and are not protecting themselves sufficiently. Misconceptions include the protective value of a "base tan" and that regular clothing provides protection from UV rays.
Click through the survey findings in this short slide show to learn more about the information Gen Z is missing and how you can educate all of your patients on optimal sun safety.
The "base tan" theory.Many members of the Gen Z cohort are not aware that tanning is harmful to the skin.
Sun, clouds, SPF. More than half of Gen Z respondents believe that sunscreen with an SPF of 30 provides 2 times the protection of one with an SPF of 15.
"Well, I've heard that UV rays..." More than one-third of Gen-Z survey respondents did not know that UV rays can penetrate clothing; about one-quarter don't know sunscreen needs to be reapplied every 2 hours.
Sunburn hindsight is 20/20. Half of the Gen Z respondents now wish they had practiced better sun protection when they were younger.
Sun protection education for all your patients may help them avoid the periods when the UV rays are most damaging to skin.
Dressing for sun safety may not appeal to patients interested in getting that summer tan, but some education on the topic could help.
The importance of the proper type of sunscreen is an essential summer message as is the reminder that application is not a once-and-done.