Tanning Linked to Moles in very Light-Skinned Children

DENVER – Very-light-skinned white kids without red hair who tan seemingly had more nevi (birthmarks, moles or other coloured spots on the skin) as compared to those who did not tan, a new study has found.

Jenny Aalborg, M.P.H., of the Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Denver, and colleagues examined the link between tanning and number of nevi.

The authors found: “Differences in nevus counts between untanned and tanned children were statistically significant at all ages. The relationship between tanning and number of nevi was independent of the child’s hair and eye color, parent-reported sun exposure and skin phototype.”

They continued: “In conclusion, UV tanning promotes nevus development in non-redhead children with the lightest skin pigmentation.

“Whether nevus development is directly in the pathway for melanoma development or a surrogate marker for UV-induced skin damage and/or genetic susceptibility to melanoma, our results suggest that tanning avoidance should be considered as a measure for the reduction of melanoma risk in this population.”

The report has been published in the September issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

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