Study: Single sunburn can lead to skin cancer

Doctors tell us they’re already seeing patients with bad sunburns, and even just one bad burn can lead to skin cancer.

Renee Hoffman read about a new study this week.

“If a child gets a blistering burn super young, it actually increases their chances to get skin cancer when they’re older,” she said.

At the park, Hoffman’s daughter Olivia is like a magnet to the monkey bars. She runs onto the playground screaming, “Yeah, slide time!”

But she knows to come back to mom when she hears the word “sunscreen.”

Olivia calls back to her cousin: “I’m getting some sunscreen right now. I’ll be right there.”

That’s because Hoffman says sunscreen is a non-negotiable, citing the new study.

We confirmed the finding with a doctor in Dillsburg.

“Just one burn can lead to skin cancer,” Dr. Linda Taylor said.

Taylor recommends applying sunscreen every two hours and immediately after swimming or showering.

“A lot of people forget behind their ears and their face, unfortunately,” she said. “Face and ears are the most common places to get skin cancer.”

Taylor said one in 50 Americans gets skin cancer at some point. Each sunburn experience increases your chances.

“You also have to make sure the sunscreen you get is ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B protection, not just ultraviolet B,” she said.

It’s a good idea to double check because some older sunscreens don’t protect from both types of rays.

Eileen Green, also at the park with her grandchild, is a good example. She says she didn’t use sunscreen as a kid because there was none.

“I’ve had skin cancer several times,” Green said. “I’m fair-skinned and prone to that.”

Now, she makes sure her little ones are lathered up.

If you do experience a blistering or bubbling sunburn, call your doctor or dermatologist immediately. It’s a good idea to get yearly checks for abnormal spots, as well.

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