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Teens & the Sun

Teens & the Sun  
March, 2014

How to talk to a teenager?

According to reports from Reuters Health and the online Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, we should be talking to our teens about wrinkled, sagging, brown spotted skin as a result of too much UV radiation from the sun and/or tanning bed. These factors scare them more when visualizing having skin like their parents and grandparents than the thought of dying early from a melanoma skin cancer. This is in spite of the statistic of melanoma being the most common cancer in the 25-29 years old young adults.

The study that confirmed this information involved 50 11th grade teens that were shown one of two short videos. One explained the association of sun and tanning beds UV radiation resulting in premature signs of aging. The other video discussed the premature occurrence and suffering/death of a melanoma skin cancer. The teens with the vision of “wrinkles, dark spots, uneven skin tones, sagging and rough leathery skin” and the understanding that “these things will make you look older and less sexy” were impacted enough to increase their use of sunscreens. Not a bad reminder to all of us.

View the videos:
•    The health-based video can be viewed at Sun Safety Health video 
•    The appearance based video at Sun Safety Appearance video 

To quote my mom: “The sunbathers of today are the apple dolls of tomorrow”. And that was even before tanning beds were available. My favorite sunscreens have at least six percent of micronized zinc oxide. I am noticing a few hat wearers even in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Another tidbit to remember:
UV reflection off of snow doubles your exposure to the risk of skin cancer and eye damage because of the extra UV rays coming in from all directions.         

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