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Misinformation about sunscreen may lead to an increase in melanoma

June 26, 2024

By Terri Russell

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Research shows 40% of skin cancers can be prevented with sunscreen.

Despite a way to ward off skin cancer it is estimated 110,000 people here in the U.S. will be diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer melanoma by 2030.

Compare that to 2011 when 65,000 people received the diagnosis.

What may be more alarming is that more and more young people are diagnosed with melanoma.

It may be due to information on social media.

“Your sunscreen is probably toxic and actually hurting your health,” an influencer on Tic Tok recently told her audience.

Such information while incorrect is not falling on deaf ears.

“You are seeing that the younger population are either tanning, are not wearing their sunscreen,” says Ashley Vazeen DNP, Dermatology Nurse Practitioner. “So, you are seeing an increase in melanoma in the younger populations because of that.”

The American Academy of Dermatology says its recent surveys show that 37% of Gen-Zers wear sunscreen only when nagged to do so. Inaccurate information about sun exposure or sunscreen only re-enforces bad habits like that.

One in seven adults in another survey mistakenly believed daily sunscreen usage is more harmful than direct sun exposure.

These can all be deadly mistakes.

Just ask Sharon Lieberstein. She is on her third bout with malignant melanoma.

She can’t understand why anyone would knowingly spread misinformation about sun exposure and skin cancer.

“I’ve had it three times,” says Lieberstein. “So, I think the information they are putting out, especially to young kids, it is dangerous. It is very, very, dangerous.”

Lieberstein says get the facts. Particularly she says from those who know the facts about melanoma.

View the article on KOLO News 8

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