Most Americans Ignore Skin Cancer Concerns

Medscape Staff

July 21, 2023

Most Americans are unconcerned about skin cancer even if they are at risk, especially Gen Zers, according to a study conducted for the American Academy of Dermatology as part of its #PracticeSafeSun initiative.

What to know:

  • Tanning is a risk factor for skin cancer, but 20% of Generation Z adults, age 18-25, say that getting a tan is more important to them than preventing skin cancer.

  • An estimated 71% of Gen Zers are unfamiliar with the risks associated with getting sunburned, whereas 59% believe tanning myths, such as tanning is healthy and a base tan will prevent sunburn.

  • Thirty-six percent of Gen Zers reported being sunburned in 2022, and 41% of those sunburned reported a sunburn severe enough that their clothes were uncomfortable.

  • Getting one blistering sunburn when someone is young nearly doubles their risk of getting melanoma, and one tanning session alone can increase the chances of developing melanoma before the age of 35 by 75%.

  • An estimated 30% of Gen Zers say that it is worth looking great now even if it means looking worse or risking cancer later in life.

This is a summary of the study "New American Academy of Dermatology Survey Shows Most Americans Are Not Concerned About Skin Cancer, Even If They Are At Risk," published by the American Academy of Dermatology on April 25, 2023. The details can be found at

For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.