From: American Osteopathic Association
Published February 27, 2017 11:09 AM

Who's Getting Sunburned? Survey Finds Risk is Greater for Young Adults with Melanin-Rich Skin

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association Study Highlights Need for Effective Sunburn Prevention Programs

Results from a study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association point to an urgent need for sunburn prevention among young adults, particularly those who have skin with higher melanin content. Researchers found a surprising correlation between reporting a red or painful sunburn lasting a day or more with being 18 to 29 years of age and not self-identifying as white.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., with five million people receiving treatment each year. The study’s lead researcher, Tracy Favreau, DO, added that melanoma is the most prevalent type of cancer for people 25 to 29 years old and second most prevalent type of cancer for people 15 to 29 years old. Of the three types of skin cancers, melanoma accounts for only two percent of occurrences but nearly half of skin cancer-related healthcare costs. It is also the deadliest of the three, as it has the highest rate of metastasis.

“Osteopathic medicine is largely focused on prevention, and melanoma, the skin cancer caused by sun exposure, is imminently preventable,” said Dr. Favreau, an osteopathic dermatologist in Florida, where the survey was conducted. “The concern here is that participants with high melanin content skin may think they’re naturally protected from sunburn, which isn’t true. We need to develop tailored sunburn prevention programs to change attitudes and reduce the risk of melanoma.”

Read more at American Osteopathic Association

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