The latest fad taking the internet by storm is 'sunburn tattoo' but experts say it can cause severe lasting skin damage.
'Sunburn tattoo' is formed by deliberately not applying sunscreen to an area of the skin in different shapes and design.
Several people are tempted to take part in the trend and are sharing images of their 'tattoos' on social media with designs like the batman symbol, stars and sandal lines that formed after exposing the body in the sun.
Dr. Whitney Bowe, a New York-based dermatologist, told the Daily Mail that the trend could even lead to skin cancer. "There is no safe way to get a sunburn tattoo. That is major misconception. There is no such thing as a safe tan," Bowe said.
Bowe warned against sunburn or tan lines that are formed when dangerous ultraviolet rays penetrate the skin layers. "The UVB rays are primary responsible for burning. So the UVB rays penetrate into the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, and those are the ones responsible for the sunburn," Bowe added. While the UVA rays dive deeper into the dermis. "Those are the ones that cumulative exposure lead to wrinkles and loss of elasticity the skin," she said.
Giving example about younger patients, Bowe said, "A lot of these sunburn tattoos are being done by kids. When you have young skin like that, it is especially vulnerable to ultraviolet rays. You are more likely to see signs of aging."
The dermatologist added that although there are options for people to reverse the sun damage on their skin, it comes with a hefty price tag. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and forms from DNA damage to the skin cells, which is caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. "Anytime you see the skin turn red or brown, it's actually a sign there has been DNA damage," Bowe concluded.
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