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08.02.2017 | original article | Ausgabe 9-10/2018

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 9-10/2018

Psychosocial aspects associated with use of sunscreen, natural sunlight exposure, and artificial tanning

Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 9-10/2018
BS Jessica Ventenilla, MD, PhD Katlein França, MD Torello Lotti, MD, PhD Jonette Keri


Natural and artificial tanning have become very popular in Western culture, yet at the same time, there is still a psychodermatology concern for this activity. Not much has been examined with the psychological aspects of tanning and sunscreen use. The purpose of this study is to examine the psychosocial effects associated with sun protection, natural, and artificial tanning among individuals 18 years old or older visiting the University of Miami Dermatology Outpatient Clinic. We distributed a survey on tanning and sunscreen use to 150 dermatology outpatients, hospital employees, and hospital visitors for three weeks during June/July 2015 asking about how often they tan, use sunscreen, and how they feel about this topic. Demographics, such as gender, ethnicity, and education were taken into consideration to examine the different responses in each category. Our results suggest that people’s perception to tanning and sunscreen use have evolved over time. Most people in South Florida nowadays feel guilty when exposed to natural sunlight without sunscreen and do not tan frequently. The majority of the people, specifically women, utilize the recommended amount of sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30–50. However, we can conclude that communication between social media and the general public can affect people’s decision-making on tanning and sunscreen use with physician advice being the most effective method of encouraging people to use sunscreen. This study will add to the growing knowledge about psychodermatology.

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