Turns Out, People Just Don’t Know Any Better

Ask 1,000 U.S. adults some basic questions on skin cancer and sun exposure. What you’ll find is that a third don’t know the answers, or at least that is what the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) found.

The findings of a recent survey by the AAD showed how very little Americans know about sun safety. Considering that about 90% of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure, this lack of knowledge is alarming.

The survey found that:

  • 53% were unaware that shade provides protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • 47% had misconceptions about base tans preventing sunburns.
  • 35% believed that tanning is safe if you don’t burn.
  • 31% didn’t know that tanning can cause skin cancer.

What is most concerning about the survey is how little the younger generations know about sun safety practices. Gen Z and Millennials were among those who scored the lowest on this sun quiz.

Considering the cumulative nature of sun damage, it is crucial that we educate our country’s youth. The sooner they start respecting the dangers of sun exposure, the better chance they have of avoiding skin cancer later in life.

Regardless of age, the AAD has shown that Americans could be doing a lot more to protect themselves from the dangers of skin cancer. We just need to educate ourselves.