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Study: Seeing how sun exposure can damage skin can encourage people to use protection



CITY OF SALT LAKE – Melanoma is on the rise and it's no secret that Utah is particularly at risk.

More than ever before, according to Kevin John, associate professor of communications and director of eye-tracking laboratory at Brigham Young University. He said that people in the state of bees just don't take care of themselves the way they need to be, given the ever-increasing risk.

"We are in the midst of a melanoma epidemic and more needs to be done to reduce mortality," John said.

He wants more people to be screened.

"The earlier you find melanoma, the more treatable it is … the longer you wait, the more it enters the skin,"

John and others at BYU Biometrics Laboratory and the University of Utah studied what could most effectively motivate people to be more active about their skin and find that they are shown images of what the sun does to unprotected skin, as well as images taken by humans after cancer or precancerous moles are removed, motivates them to use sunscreen and / or avoid the sun.

"It gets people's attention," says John. "It is enough to instill a little fear and increase your expectation of being screened for cancer."

The infrared camera collects melanin concentrations under the skin, indicating where the damage has occurred.

An image of John's face shows what he says is "typical sun damage" for a 35-year-old, "but it looks pretty scary," he says.

"At first glance, it looks like a normal black and white photo," he said. "If you look closer, you can see that the pores in the bright light and the sun damage look like dark spots."

However, these dark spots are the places where the skin has already been damaged by UV rays.

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Utah and the United States, according to the Utah Cancer Network. Utah melanoma rates are highest in the country, and the Utah Department of Health reports the number of cases continues to increase year on year.

Whether it is due to climate change, other environmental differences, a large number of people from Europe John says

"In 1

930, your chance of getting melanoma in your life was 1 in 1500," he said , "You now have a 1 in 55 chance. That's serious. "

To come to their conclusion – that images can cause enough fear to lead to more action when it comes to skin cancer – researchers showed 60 different images in more than 2,200 people in the US. one of more than a dozen under $ 2.5 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health.

The study appears in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Future studies may include inviting participants to see their own skin, using UVIA UV tan n VISIA Analysis System.

"We want to influence people to make their own decision to be tested," says John, adding that 75 percent of melanomas are detected by spouses, partners, or friends. "Just review and say for friends and family to look at. Let's prevent everyone from having skin cancer. "

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Wendy Leonard

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