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How Can We Encourage Our Teens to Use Sun Protection?

November 16, 2011

There has been a large movement to try to get younger generations to understand the dangers of skin cancer.  The media continually portrays women with tan skin as sexy, beautiful, and attractive.  In truth unless naturally tan (even in winter), getting a tan is a health hazard.  It is a proven fact that prolonged sun exposure causes skin cancer.  Researches have been urging all people of all ages to be aware of the potential harm sun damage can do.  Younger generations do not seem to be troubled by these health problems.

Who can we turn to in order to help our younger generations care?  The first person is the doctor.  There comes an age when kids stop listening to their parent’s advice and at this point a doctor is a great person to ask for help.  The US Preventive Service Task Force has worked on new recommendations on how to better educate younger generations.  Some of these recommendations include undoing what the media has taught them.  Although being tan may be beautiful now, having skin cancer later will not be as beautiful.  They want to encourage doctors and parents to use the vanity of the younger generation to deter them from excessive sun exposure.  The best thing to do is to encourage school counseling.  There is an increasing amount of evidence that shows that counseling greatly changes teen’s mindset.

Being tan now may be beautiful, but in the long run it ruins the skins elasticity and can potentially cause more harm to the body.  By educating younger generations about the harm of UV rays we will hopefully be able to better prevent skin damage.

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