Sunburn

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In 2015, 35.3% of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year.

Summary graph for Sunburn, Click to see detailed view of graph

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Introduction

Sunburn, also known as erythema, is caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVB), which results in an acute cutaneous inflammatory response. Sunburn can result from exposure to outdoor sunlight or UV radiation from indoor tanning beds. Sunburn symptoms include redness, warmth, tenderness, and edema. Previous sun burning is a strong predictor of future skin cancer, especially sunburns that occur at younger ages.

Measure

The percentage of high school students (grades 9-12) who reported having been sunburned in the past 12 months.

The percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who reported having been sunburned in the past 12 months.

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • (Developmental) Reduce the proportion of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who report sunburn.
  • Reduce to 33.8 percent the proportion of adults aged 18 years and older who report at least one sunburn in the past 12 months.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

Adolescents: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), 2015.

Adults: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey NCI and CDC co-sponsored Cancer Control Supplement, 2000-2010, 2010-2015.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Adolescents

By Sex
Percentage of high school students (grades 9-12) who were sunburned in the past year by sex, 2015
Overview graph Sex Had a sunburn in past year
Percent of adolescents Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of high school students (grades 9-12) who were sunburned in the past year by sex, 2015 Both Sexes 55.8 (51.2 - 60.3)
Male 52.0 (48.0 - 56.0)
Female 59.8 (54.1 - 65.2)
By Race/Ethnicity
Percentage of high school students (grades 9-12) who were sunburned in the past year by race/ethnicity, 2015
Overview graph Race Had a sunburn in past year
Percent of adolescents Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of high school students (grades 9-12) who were sunburned in the past year by race/ethnicity, 2015 All Races 55.8 (51.2 - 60.3)
Non-Hispanic White 72.5 (68.3 - 76.4)
Non-Hispanic Black 15.0 (12.1 - 18.4)
Hispanic 40.8 (37.4 - 44.4)
By High School Grade
Percentage of high school students (grades 9-12) who were sunburned in the past year by grade level, 2015
Overview graph Race Had a sunburn in past year
Percent of adolescents Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of high school students (grades 9-12) who were sunburned in the past year by grade level, 2015 Grade 9 55.0 (49.8 - 60.0)
Grade 10 55.9 (50.0 - 61.7)
Grade 11 56.4 (52.1 - 60.6)
Grade 12 55.8 (50.5 - 61.0)

Adults

By Sex
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by sex, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by sex, 2000-2015 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 35.3 (34.4 - 36.2)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 35.5 (34.2 - 36.7)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 35.2 (34.1 - 36.3)
By Race/Ethnicity
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by race/ethnicity, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by race/ethnicity, 2000-2015 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 35.3 (34.4 - 36.2)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 46.3 (45.1 - 47.5)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 9.9 (8.7 - 11.0)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 22.4 (20.8 - 24.0)
By Age
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by age, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by age, 2000-2015 Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 18-24 46.0 (43.1 - 48.9)
Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 25+ 33.7 (32.8 - 34.5)
By Sex and Age
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by sex and age, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by sex and age, 2000-2015 Males, Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Males, Ages 18-24 43.6 (39.7 - 47.4)
Males, Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Males, Ages 25+ 34.3 (33.0 - 35.5)
Females, Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Females, Ages 18-24 48.4 (44.2 - 52.7)
Females, Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Females, Ages 25+ 33.2 (32.1 - 34.2)
By Poverty Income Level
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by poverty income level, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by poverty income level, 2000-2015 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 26.7 (25.4 - 28.1)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 39.2 (38.2 - 40.3)
By Education Level
Percentage of adults aged 25 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by highest level of education obtained, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 25 years and older who were sunburned in the past year by highest level of education obtained, 2000-2015 Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 19.7 (18.0 - 21.5)
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 30.8 (29.1 - 32.4)
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 37.2 (36.3 - 38.2)

Additional Information on Sunburn

For the public

For health professionals

Scientific reports

Statistics

Year Range

2000-2015

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2010-2015

Summary Tables

Sun Protection

Recent Summary Trend

Falling

Desired Direction

Falling