WORCESTER, Mass., Sept. 21 (UPI) — Some 10 percent of U.S. adolescents use sunless tanning products, but they use them more for cosmetic reasons, not to prevent skin cancer, researchers say.
Sherry L. Pagoto of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester and colleagues found receiving information about skin cancer — including an ultraviolet radiation-filtered photograph showing sun damage to their skin — helped people reduce sun bathing.
“Encouraging sunbathers to switch to sunless tanning could have an important health impact, but sunless tanning has been considered a cosmetic more so than a healthcare tool,” Pagoto and colleagues say in a statement.
The study, published in the journal Archives of Dermatology, recruited 250 women — 125 assigned to receive information about skin cancer and sunless tanning while the other 125, the controls, received free cosmetic samples not related to skin health.
After two months, participants who had receiving sun damage information were sunbathing less frequently, having fewer sunburns and using more protective clothing than those in the control group.
After one year, the intervention group still sunbathed less and also used sunless tanning products more frequently than the control group.
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