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Sunburn Art: Shocking and dangerous fashion trend goes viral

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With summer in full swing a shocking fashion fad is spreading on social media. It’s called sunburn art, but dermatologists say it’s not anything to admire.

Still it’s not hard to find examples of it all over Twitter. Just search #SunburnArt. You’ll find pictures of people with logos and designs purposely burned into their skin by the sun. Some of these pictures do date back to 2013, but sunburn art seems to be rising in popularity recently.

New York City-based dermatologist Elizabeth Hale told PEOPLE magazine she found the pictures concerning, but not surprising.

“Two blistering sunburns as a child or five sunburns at any time in your life, both of those double your chance for melanoma, which is the most deadly form of skin cancer,” Hale said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 65,000 Americans were diagnosed with melanoma in 2011 and more than 9,000 died that year.

And Hale said sun tan art is not any safer. There is nothing good or healthy about a tan, she said.

Doctors encourage everyone of all skin types to wear at least SPF 30 sun block while spending time outdoors and reapply it often. Also, avoid peak sun periods of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and make sure to talk to teens about this trend, especially with the 4th of July weekend coming up.