CDC: Teens Engage in Unsafe Skin-Protection Practices

Among teenagers, decrease in reported sunscreen use from 2001 to 2011

THURSDAY, Aug. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Sunscreen use has decreased among adolescents, and a considerable proportion use indoor tanning devices, according to research published online Aug. 21 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

Corey H. Basch, Ed.D., M.P.H., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues examined the use of sunscreen and indoor tanning devices among a nationally representative sample of high school students. Data were collected for a 10-year period (2001 to 2011) from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.

The researchers found that from 2001 to 2011 there was a decrease in the percent of youth who reported using sunscreen, from 67.7 to 56.1 percent. The prevalence of indoor tanning device use was 15.6 and 13.3 percent, respectively, in 2009 and 2011, with the highest prevalence seen among white females (37.4 percent in 2009 and 29.3 percent in 2011).

"These findings indicate the need for prevention efforts aimed at adolescents to reduce risks for skin cancer," the authors write.

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