Melanoma is a sometimes-deadly skin cancer that’s striking more and more Americans. In a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, researchers learned that ultraviolet pictures may be a useful tool in helping young people lower their risk of the disease.
They took UV photos of hundreds of 11- and 12-year-olds’ faces. These pictures show sun damage on the skin before it’s visible to the eye. Kids who are at higher risk of developing melanoma because of their skin and eye color already showed more sun damage in the study. The photos found more damage in children with red hair, blue eyes, light skin, more facial freckles and more moles.
One of the researchers said, “These UV pictures can be ugly and they can do a good job of scaring young people away from the tanning booth.”
Kids, teens and young adults who want to avoid more sun damage and possibly a skin cancer scare can also protect themselves by staying out of the sun, wearing long clothing and covering exposed skin with sunscreen.