MAY 05, 2020 3:15 PM PDT

Can a face-aging app improve sun protection behavior?

Can a face-aging mobile app improve the skin cancer protection behavior of teenagers? A cluster-randomized clinical trial of 52 school classes with 1573 Brazilian pupils aims to answer that question. Its findings are published in the journal JAMA Dermatology

Exposure to UV radiation in early life is a risk factor for skin cancer, but it often isn’t the thing that young people are thinking of when they head for the beach - or worse, the tanning bed. 

As the authors of the study write, “Melanoma incidence is increasing throughout the world, which results in substantial health and economic burdens. As many as 90% of melanomas are associated with UV exposure, in particular with severe sunburns, and are therefore highly preventable. Studies have shown that daily sunscreen use following international dermatology guidelines may prevent sunburns and/or skin cancer, including melanoma.”

Because melanoma development can be reduced by limiting UV exposure in children and adolescents, the researchers developed the free face-aging mobile app Sunface in order to analyze its impact on the skin cancer protection behavior of adolescents.

The findings from the study show that after 3 to 6 months of using Sunface, adolescents in the targeted intervention group showed improvements in sunscreen use, tanning behavior, and skin self-examinations, compared to those students in the nonintervention group.

“Results showed that daily sunscreen use increased from 110 of 734 pupils (15.0%) to 139 of 607 (22.9%) at the 6-month follow-up in the intervention group. The proportion of pupils performing at least 1 skin self-examination in the intervention group rose from 184 of 734 (25.1%) to 300 of 607 (49.4%). Use of tanning decreased from 138 of 734 pupils (18.8%) to 92 of 607 (15.2%). No significant changes were observed in the control group. The intervention was more effective for female students.”

Photo: Pixabay

These findings suggest that interventions like the face-aging app Sunface may be useful in improving skin cancer protection behavior in Brazilian youth. The authors hope that such behaviors will decrease skin cancer risk and melanoma development. 

Sources: JAMA Dermatology, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 22, 2020
Cancer
Immunotherapy: the risk for cancer patients with COVID-19
JUL 22, 2020
Immunotherapy: the risk for cancer patients with COVID-19
Research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer earlier this wee ...
AUG 07, 2020
Cancer
Using organoids to improve chemotherapy for advanced stages of colon and appendiceal cancer
AUG 07, 2020
Using organoids to improve chemotherapy for advanced stages of colon and appendiceal cancer
New research published in the journal Annals of Surgical Oncology uses organoids to finetune chemotherapies that tr ...
AUG 14, 2020
Cancer
Controlling Tumor Blood Flow to Increase Therapy Effectiveness
AUG 14, 2020
Controlling Tumor Blood Flow to Increase Therapy Effectiveness
Nowadays, most cancer drugs target a protein or inhibit a critical cellular process. Modern therapies have varying level ...
SEP 03, 2020
Cancer
Largest study to date on the link between hair dye and cancer
SEP 03, 2020
Largest study to date on the link between hair dye and cancer
A new study published in the British Medical Journal is the largest of its kind to look at the link between hair dy ...
SEP 07, 2020
Cancer
Identifying Robust Tumor Features for Better Radiomics
SEP 07, 2020
Identifying Robust Tumor Features for Better Radiomics
With the advancement of technology comes the renovation of classical medical techniques. Diagnostic is one of the areas ...
SEP 18, 2020
Coronavirus
How Coronavirus Spread in the US and Europe
SEP 18, 2020
How Coronavirus Spread in the US and Europe
Researchers are beginning to examine how the world's response to the pandemic virus SARS-CoV-2 went wrong, and right ...
Loading Comments...