Some social media trends are clearly better than others, and while some are tattooing or drawing their bodies with semicolons in meaningful support for depression, #sunburnart receives a loud ‘no’ from doctors. It could be considered a little too late for some as the practice has already gone viral over Instagram and other social networking websites.
By this point, it is likely for most to have noticed a rise in ‘body art’ of people purposefully exposing themselves to UV lights until they receive a painful burn. And it all happens in spite of cautionary tales and strict warnings from various skin cancer researchers or publications surrounding the subject.
While the sun can be an accurate temporary tattoo artists, its ink is definitely unhealthy and permanently damaging.
Doctors, and especially oncologists, put out statements, posters, reminders, short of hiring sky-riders to spell it out across the skies that we should never forget the importance of sunscreen come summer. Yet their warnings seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Both Instagram and Twitter have recently burst with the new trend, with mostly young people posting pictures of the pale designs against the contrast of deliberately burnt skin. The practice involves using sunscreen in various patterns, be it shapes, handwriting or other outlines, or making use of stickers to keep UV rays off the skin.
The process is then completed by cooking in the sun for an alarming amount of time, until the patterns take form and the rest of the skin is burned around it. It paints quite a puzzling picture and begs to question as to why.
Those taking part in the fashion call it as simply another beautiful expression through body art, completely ignoring its harmful consequences. Dermatologists warn that the sun damages the DNA just underneath the skin and can later on cause melanoma, one of the most common forms of skin cancer that has a fatality rate of 75% if not diagnosed early.
It should not be ignored that cases of skin cancer have risen by a worrying 200% only in the last three decades. Those participating or promoting the appeal of sun-burnt tattoos should take caution of its consequences. It may not be instant, but the detrimental effect can be noticed later on in life.
Every foundation and doctor is warning people against the #sunburnart trend, especially young children who are more susceptible to skin burn. Lifeguards have reported on seeing kids joining in, though a good majority have been reported to be from teenagers to people in their mid 20’s.
It’s emphasized that if people insist on expressing themselves through body art, they could instead temporarily imprint their chosen designs through harmless methods such as henna or, at the very least, diminish the exposure to the sun and spread it through time.
A tan is safer than a deliberate skin burn.
Image source: medicaldaily.com