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AAD releases skin cancer awareness video targeting younger women

A new skin cancer public service advertisement (PSA) called “Arms” has been released by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in an effort to communicate a message to younger women about the associated dangers of tanning.

The AAD is targeting younger women through their PSA due to findings from a survey of women between 18 to 34 years of age. The AAD survey findings suggest a need for increased awareness about the dangers of tanning.

Data from the survey showed that 71% of the respondents indicated that they know there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Additionally, 66% of the women reported that they know that getting a base tan is not a healthy way to protect themselves from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The survey also indicated 98% of young women are aware that skin cancer can be deadly.

PSA targets younger women due to knowledge gap

“Arms” seeks to bridge a divide between knowledge of skin cancer by young women and actual tanning practices contradictory to skin cancer prevention.

The PSA video features two young women comparing their tans at various stages in their lives. The emotional ad concludes with the two friends clasping hands in the hospital as one of them reveals she has advanced stage melanoma.

“We hope this PSA inspires young women to give up dangerous tanning practices and protect their skin by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher,” explained Dr. Elizabeth S. Martin, dermatologist who practices in Birmingham, Ala.

“Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is the second most common cancer in young women, and we believe this may be due in part to their tanning habits. It is alarming that young women are continuing to tan even though they’re aware of the danger,” said Dr. Martin, chair of the AAD Council on Communications.

The video also advertises AAD’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign supported through an informational web site for public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promote the prevention, detection and care of skin cancer.

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