Melanoma risk: Adolescent females' perspectives on skin protection pre/post viewing an ultraviolet photoaged photograph of their own facial sun damage
Place of Publication
School of Arts and Humanities
Suntanning increases skin cancer risk and prematurely ages skin. Photoageing photography is an effective means of increasing adult ultraviolet radiation (UVR) awareness and skin-protection practices. While adults’ largely positive suntanning-deterrence responses to photoageing photography are well-documented, comparatively little is known about the deterrence effectiveness of photoageing photography with adolescents. To help fill this knowledge gap, in-depth interviews were collected from 10 adolescent females and were subsequently subjected to interpretive phenomenological analysis. The emergent central theme – Having a tan and looking good in the short-term is okay, however, in the longer-term you can end up looking far worse… but still a tan is worth it – and its component subthemes reveal that the adolescent female’s desire for a suntan is largely appearance driven. While photoaged photography is effective in increasing their awareness of the skin damage that UVR exposure causes, it does not alter their suntanning intentions. The analysis also revealed that one of the major barriers to adolescent females’ adoption of skin-protective behaviours is their belief in their own invincibility. Hence, skin-protection interventions that lessen the aura of invincibility around adolescent females’ understanding of their risk for developing skin cancers are vital to reducing the incidence of malignant melanoma.