The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Official Position on Sunburn Art

New York, NY (July 2, 2015)—A dangerous new behavior is trending on social media given its recent gain in popularity among young people. “Sunburn art” is a type of body art created by exposing certain parts of the body to the sun without using proper sun protection. The result is a sunburn in the shape of a particular image, design or pattern. In response to this growing trend, The Skin Cancer Foundation has released the following statement: 

The Skin Cancer Foundation strongly advises the public to avoid sunburns at all costs. A sunburn is not only painful – it’s dangerous, and comes with consequences. Sunburns cause DNA damage to the skin, accelerate skin aging, and increase your lifetime skin cancer risk.  In fact, sustaining five or more sunburns in youth increases lifetime melanoma risk by 80 percent. On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns. 

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends adopting a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade, covering up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. 

— Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, Skin Cancer Foundation Senior Vice President

About The Skin Cancer Foundation

The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. Since its inception in 1979, the Foundation has recommended following a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. For more information, visit SkinCancer.org.