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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sun Safety

JAMA Dermatol; ePub 2017 Nov 8; Geller, et al

Overexposure to the sun is associated with an increased risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, but indications of improvements in sun protection behavior are poor, according to 19 experts from various disciplines who convened for Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Skin Cancer, a 2-day meeting hosted by the National Academy of Sciences in December 2016. The group discussed knowledge gaps, perspectives on sun exposure, implications for skin cancer risk, and other health outcomes, as well as new directions. 5 themes emerged from the discussion:

  1. The definition of risk must be expanded, and categories for skin physiology must be refined to incorporate population diversities.
  2. Risky sun exposure often co-occurs with other health-related behaviors.
  3. Messages must be nuanced to target at-risk populations.
  4. Persons at risk for tanning disorder must be recognized and treated.
  5. Sun safety interventions must be scalable. Efficient use of technologies will be required to sharpen messages to specific populations and to integrate them within multilevel interventions.


Geller AC, Jablonski NG, Pagoto SL, et al. Interdisciplinary perspectives on sun safety. [Published online ahead of print November 8, 2017]. JAMA Dermatol. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.4201.