Statement attributable to AAD President Bruce H. Thiers, MD, FAAD

“There is no evidence to support the recent speculation that traditional ultraviolet exposure is an effective treatment for COVID-19. This misinformation may encourage the public to seek UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds, inherently increasing their risk of skin cancer. 

While health issues are complex and involve multiple factors, it is a well-established fact that unprotected exposure to dangerous UV radiation from the sun and/or from an indoor tanning bed is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, including the deadliest form, melanoma. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, affecting one in every five Americans.

We recommend that anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 get tested immediately and follow the instructions of their physician team, and not implement unproven at-home remedies. 

And, as we all enjoy the warmer weather and outside exercise while practicing social distancing during these times, the AAD recommends that everyone protect their skin and reduce their risk of skin cancer by following these simple recommendations: seek shade, wear protective clothing, including a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt, lightweight pants, and a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection. Remember to apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all skin not covered by clothing and, at all times, avoid tanning beds. If you have questions about how to protect yourself from UV radiation, talk to a board-certified dermatologist.”

[Source(s): American Academy of Dermatology, Newswise]