Survey: Tanning Myths Live on

DURHAM, N.C., May 25 (UPI) — A U.S. survey indicates some common tanning myths, including one that some kinds of ultraviolet rays are acceptable, may be hard to eradicate.

The survey by the American Academy of Dermatology found only one-third of respondents knew the statement: “Some types of ultraviolet rays are safe for your skin,” was false.


“Quite simply, all forms of UV exposure, whether from natural sunlight or artificial light sources found in tanning beds, are unsafe and are the No. 1 preventable risk factor for skin cancer,” dermatologist Dr. Zoe Draelos of the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., says in a statement.

Draelos also notes using sunscreen may provide a false sense of security.

“Sunscreen must be reapplied regularly and be part of an overall sun-protection plan that includes hats, sunglasses, protective clothing and seeking shade,” he says.

Fewer than half surveyed say getting a base tan was not a healthy way to protect skin from sun damage, while 21 percent say sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor or SPF of 30 did not provide twice the protection of SPF 15.

“An SPF of 30 screens 97 percent of ultraviolet B rays, whereas an SPF of 15 screens 93 percent of ultraviolet B rays,” Draelos says.

The online survey polled 7,000 U.S. adults in 26 cities. The survey’s margin of error was 1.2 percentage points.

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