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Ohio dermatologist aims to protect youth from tanning bed dangers


American Academy of Dermatology honors Dr. Shannon Trotter as National “Patient Care Hero”

ROSEMONT, Ill. (April 13, 2022) - Ohio board-certified dermatologist Shannon Trotter, DO, FAOCD, FAAD, was honored as an American Academy of Dermatology Patient Care Hero for her efforts to protect teenagers from the dangers of tanning beds.

Nearly one-third of indoor tanners start tanning before age 18. Research shows using tanning beds before age 35 can increase the chances of developing melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—by 59 percent, and the risk increases with each use.

During Dr. Trotter’s time as director of the melanoma clinic at the James Cancer Hospital Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio, and now in her private practice in Springfield and Canal Winchester, Ohio, she regularly diagnoses and treats patients with skin cancer and premature aging that may be a result of tanning bed use.

“Patients who use tanning beds are at greater risk for skin cancer later in life,” said Dr. Trotter. “Prohibiting tanning beds for minors can prevent skin cancer and deaths and significantly reduce healthcare costs.”

Dr. Trotter’s patient Stephanie Nicholl began using tanning beds as a teenager and tanned daily in her early 20s. After noticing a raised blister on her leg, a dermatologist performed a biopsy and diagnosed her with melanoma. Doctors removed the cancerous tissue and lymph And she is now cancer-free and sees Dr. Trotter for routine skin checks.

“If I hadn’t gone to a dermatologist to diagnose and treat my skin cancer, I wouldn’t be here today,” said Nicholl. “Parental consent was not required to use tanning beds in Ohio when I was a teenager, and I didn’t understand the risks. Restricting teens’ access to tanning beds should be a priority.”

Dr. Trotter regularly testifies to lawmakers about the need for legislation prohibiting minors from using indoor tanning beds and booths. Ohio state law allows 16- and 17-year-olds to use tanning beds with parental consent. To date, 23 states have passed legislation banning minors under the age of 18 from indoor tanning.

The AAD created the Patient Care Heroes program to recognize physicians who transform patients’ lives by utilizing their expertise and collaborating with other physicians.

“As the skin experts, dermatologists know firsthand how harmful overexposure to ultraviolet radiation can be for patients,” said board-certified dermatologist Mark D. Kaufmann, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. “Voices like Dr. Trotter’s are critical as we continue our fight to protect adolescents from life-altering skin disease by restricting minors’ access to tanning beds.”

Learn more about the work of Dr. Trotter.

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About SkinSerious

SkinSerious is a campaign by the American Academy of Dermatology that highlights dermatologists’ role as partners in the health care system, providing expert care for serious conditions. To learn more, visit SkinSerious.org.

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 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin) or YouTube(AcademyofDermatology).