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BUSM study finds photographs of UV exposure can impact sunburns in preteens
Date:4/22/2009

(Boston) Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that among preteens, the use of photographs to measure ultraviolet (UV) exposure, could motivate them to improve sun protection practices and limit number of sunburns. These findings appear in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in our society, and overexposure to UV light in childhood is a major risk factor. Individuals with light eyes, pale skin, history of sunburns, freckling tendency, multiple nevi, or family histories of skin cancer are at greatest risk.

The BUSM researchers collaborated with the Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation (http://www.melanomaprevention.org/) to design an intervention program in the Northeast. They recruited middle-school students (aged 11-13 years) from Quincy, Massachusetts, a community with a melanoma rate higher than expected from 1999-2003. Of the 111 students who completed the study, 83 received the intervention and 28 were in the control group. All students received a sun protection lecture. Those in the intervention group also received a UV photograph of their face, (that shows pigment changes from chronic sun exposure), along with detailed explanations of their findings on the UV photographs at baseline. Follow-up surveys at two and six months were also obtained. Responses from both groups were analyzed with regard to attitudes and behaviors relating to sun protection practices.

According to the researchers there were fewer (36 percent) reported sunburns in the intervention group at two months follow-up, as compared with the control group (57 percent). This difference was smaller at six months follow-up with 51 percent of intervention group reporting a sunburn compared to 64 percent of the control group. The researchers then examined the relationship between preteens who w
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Contact: Gina DiGravio
gina.digravio@bmc.org
617-638-8480
Boston University
Source:Eurekalert

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