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American Academy of Dermatology statement on the dangers of ultraviolet exposure


ROSEMONT, Ill. (April 24, 2020) — Statement attributable to AAD President Bruce H. Thiers, MD, FAAD

“There is no evidence to support the recent speculation that traditional ultraviolet exposure is an effective treatment for COVID-19. This misinformation may encourage the public to seek UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds, inherently increasing their risk of skin cancer.

While health issues are complex and involve multiple factors, it is a well-established fact that unprotected exposure to dangerous UV radiation from the sun and/or from an indoor tanning bed is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, including the deadliest form, melanoma. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, affecting one in every five Americans.

We recommend that anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 get tested immediately and follow the instructions of their physician team, and not implement unproven at-home remedies.

And, as we all enjoy the warmer weather and outside exercise while practicing social distancing during these times, the AAD recommends that everyone protect their skin and reduce their risk of skin cancer by following these simple recommendations: seek shade, wear protective clothing, including a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, lightweight pants, and a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection. Remember to apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all skin not covered by clothing and, at all times, avoid tanning beds. If you have questions about how to protect yourself from UV radiation, talk to a board-certified dermatologist.”

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About the AAD
Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), Instagram (@AADskin1), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).