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Suncare Sunday: Sunburn Facts

On this Suncare Sunday: Sunburn Facts, we share newly published data from the CDC showing sunburn incidence in adults and teens, sun exposure behaviors and sun protection basics:

Sunburn incidence in adults remains high:

    • 34% of adults report experiencing at least 1 sunburn each year1
    • Half were outside for more than 1 hour between 10 and 4 pm2
    • Only 5% reported they were trying to get a tan, yet only 20% were wearing sunscreen on areas other than their face2

Sunburn rates have not improved in teens:

    • 57% of high school students report being sunburned in the last year
    • Up to 16 high school students get a sunburn every minute³. 

We can do more!

The results suggest the need to promote multiple forms of sun protection including sunscreen use tailored to outdoor activities. To learn more about the behavioral context in which adult sunburns occur see the infographic below. Do you know which population has a higher sunburn prevalence? The answer may surprise you!


We encourage all healthcare practitioners to download, print and display this infographic in waiting areas and exam rooms, and share with patients.

For additional resources and products that can help you promote sun-safe behavior in your patients, visit

Access to 2 recent JDD CME podcasts below:

Science of Sun Protection

Understanding and Changing Patient Behavior and Minimizing Risk of UV Damage


1. Holman DM, Ding H, Berkowitz Z, Hartman AM, Perna FM. Sunburn prevalence among U.S. adults, National Health Interview Survey 2005, 2010, and 2015. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019;80(3):817–820. 10.1016/j.jaad.2018.10.044.

2. Holman DM et al. The Context of Sunburn Among U.S. Adults: Common Activities and Sun Protection Behaviors. Am J Prev Med. 2021 May ; 60(5): e213–e220. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2020.12.011.

3. Kann L, McManus T, Harris W, et al. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2017. MMWR Surveill Summ 2018;67 (No. 8): p101.

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