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Sunless Tanning and Risky Cancer-related Behaviors

JAMA Dermatology; ePub 2018 Jul 25; Dodds, Arron, et al

Sunless tanning is associated with risky skin cancer-related behaviors, according to a recent study that sought to assess the demographic characteristics and skin cancer risk behaviors of sunless tanners in the US. This secondary analysis of a cross-sectional study used data from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey, a population-based survey of the US noninstitutionalized civilian population. Participants included 27,353 men and women ≥18 years. Researchers found:

  • Of the total cohort (representative of >198 million US adults; mean [SE] age, 46.0 [0.2] years), 6.4% [SE, 0.2%]) reported sunless tanning.
  • Factors associated with sunless tanning included being young, female, non-Hispanic white, college educated, non-obese, and sun sensitive, living in the western US, and having a family history of skin cancer.
  • Sunless tanners were more likely to report indoor tanning, recent sunburn, use of sunscreen, and having had a full-body skin examination, but less likely to seek shade or use protective clothing when outdoors.


Dodds M, Arron ST, Linos E, Polcari I, Mansh MD. Characteristics and skin cancer risk behaviors

of adult sunless tanners in the United States. [Published online ahead of print July 25, 2018]. JAMA Dermatology. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.2054.