Generational Knowledge Gap on Sun Safety

With the amount of access to information that we have in today’s age, we would assume that our younger generations would be more informed with the risks and dangers of sun exposure. This is not the case however, in a study done by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) surveying 1,000 U.S. adults, they found that 1/3 of Americans lack a basic understanding of sun protection and skin cancer.

Even more surprising is through the sampled segment they found that Gen Z (born after 1996) appeared to have the biggest misunderstanding of sun exposure followed closely by Millennials (born between 1981-1996).

Here are some results of the study focusing on the knowledge of Gen Z & Millennials:

Gen Z Survey Findings:

  • 42% are unaware that tanning causes skin cancer.
  • 41% are unaware that (UV) rays are reflected by snow, water, and sand.
  • 33% are unaware that they can get sunburned on a cloudy day.

Millennial Survey Findings:

  • 42% are unaware that sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate clothing.
  • 37% are unaware that tanning causes skin cancer.
  • 23% are unaware that sunburn increases the risk of getting skin cancer.

With skin cancer being the most prevalent form of cancer, it is hard to comprehend that these generations with such a vast access to information have a large knowledge gap about basic sun exposure and safety.

It is important to share #PracticeSafeSun resources with those around us and to raise awareness of skin cancer to all generations.  While it is the most prevalent of cancers it is also the easiest to fight against with simple sun safe practices.