Do you think people look healthier and more attractive with a tan? If so, you're not alone, according to a survey released Monday by the American Academy of Dermatology
However, you'd also be wrong.
The survey found that 72 percent of respondents find tanned skin more attractive than pale skin, while 66 percent said a tan provides a healthy glow. In addition, 60 percent were under the mistaken impression that sun exposure
is good for one's health.
Those attitudes may help explain why skin cancer
is the most common type of cancer
in the U.S. So might these other common misconceptions about tanning:
37 percent mistakenly believe that indoor tanning beds are safer than outdoor sun exposure
40 percent aren't aware that burns and tans during childhood are linked to skin cancer in adults
52 percent think a base tan protects the skin from further sun exposure, even though it doesn't
65 percent don't realize that all UV rays
are harmful for skin
For more on the survey, check out this fact sheet on tanning. The Academy also has this useful resource to help people distinguish normal moles
from early signs of skin cancer. Tips for conducting a skin cancer self-exam
are available here: www.pwrnewmedia.com/2010/aad00429/downloads/Body_Mole_Map.pdf
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