The medical community is warning people against selectively "burning" part of their bodies, exposing themselves to greater cancer risk.
Doctors are raising the alarm that young people are turning to a new kind of body art, where sun tan lotion is strategically applied to create patterns through sunburns — and it’s a practice with potentially deadly consequences.
By using suncream, sunbathers are able to leave certain parts of their body to be exposed, resulting in wild, temporary patterns that are referred to as “sunburn art,” and it’s getting the attention of the medical community, according to an ABC News report.
Dermatologists urge people not to do this, as sunburns result in a greater incidence of skin cancer, and it can also result in premature aging in the skin.
The reported quoted Dr. Barney Kenet, a dermatologist based in New York, who said that it’s another case of popular culture “clashing with medical advice.” Some people even use temporary tattoos to create their patterns.
But sunburns are not benign: they are the result of the sun’s rays literally burning your skin, which can result in the development of skin cancers, like the deadly melanoma. At best, it will weather and age your skin, making you look older than you really are.
If you are going to go out in the sun and you want to create some art using your tan lines, it is possible to do it safely, but it should be done over a gradual period of time and by simply spending more time in the sun to develop a deep tan. It will also make the art look cleaner as well, although you may need to wait a lot longer than burning your skin in one sitting.
Melanoma is an especially high risk for those with fair skin, and that is true even when they have less visible skin damage from a burn.
Health experts recommend that people be careful in the sun by staying in the shade, wearing long-sleeve shirts if possible, and using broad spectrum SPF suncream to avoid burning.