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Lexington pediatrician warns about social media trend claiming sunscreen isn’t necessary


Tips and hacks often trend on social media, and sometimes they can be dangerous.

According to CBS News, some people are now taking to social media to share their sun habits, including taking an anti-sunscreen stance.

A Lexington doctor WKYT spoke to says people absolutely should not follow this trend.

“We have known for years that sunscreen is beneficial in the prevention of skin cancers,” said Lexington pediatrician Dr. Katrina Hood.

As you or your child scrolls through TikTok and other social media sites, videos about taking a stance against sunscreen or out-of-the-ordinary tanning tips may be popping up.

“Just because they have a following doesn’t mean they’re an expert in it,” Dr. Hood said.

Everyone has their favorite influencers and celebrities, but Dr. Katrina Hood says when it comes to this topic if you take their advice, you’re possibly putting yourself and your life at risk.

“Things like melanoma can cause you to die. So, we need to be on the forefront of prevention primarily,” Dr. Hood said.

Dr. Hood says this means using sunscreen. She says without it, people can develop sunspots, pre-cancerous cells, cancerous cells, and wrinkles. After all, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., and Kentucky, specifically, has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the country.

“The sunburn over and over leads to damage in all kinds of ways. The integrity and the ability of your skin to stay healthy is not going to be that way if you are avoiding your sunscreen,” Dr. Hood said.

A common thread in these trends is that people want to be more ‘natural,’ citing the concern about the chemicals in sunscreen.

“We have not seen any connection in an increase in cancer risk based on the use of those. In fact, quite the opposite, that it is preventive. But if there is concern, then by all means, a mineral one is completely an option.”

Dr. Hood says the moral of the story is to use what we know works. With the heat of summer in full swing, she says it’s imperative that people of all ages protect their skin any time they’re outside.

“We have to really look at where we’re reading these things,” Dr. Hood said. We can’t just take up some follower of an Instagram poster because they seem to think this is the right way to go. Do your own research at a reputable place, and by all means, talk to your healthcare provider.”


Credit: Mariah Congedo-WKYT/Lexington