Teenagers and young adults should ditch the trendy sun tan this summer and choose sun safety instead, according to the AMA.
AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, is warning young Australians not to put themselves at risk of skin cancer this summer through unsafe tanning.
'A summer tan may look attractive in a magazine but the reality is only ugly,' Dr Capolingua said.
'Anyone can develop skin cancer or melanoma. Young people shouldn't feel that they are immune to the health risks of sun exposure.'
'A lot of people spend time in the sun over Christmas and the New Year - at the beach, playing sport or at outdoor events - but we must not become complacent about the risk of skin cancer.'
'Teenagers and young adults tend to have a false sense of security when it comes to sun exposure and their health - they assume skin cancer is something that happens to older people.'
'The tragic story of Clare Oliver, who died earlier this year from melanoma, clearly shows young people are as much at risk as anyone else.'
'Many young people think they need a golden tan to enjoy their summer holidays, but there is nothing attractive about sun damaged skin.'
According to the Cancer Council, Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world and melanoma is the most common cancer in people aged 15-39.
'There is no safe level of tanning. Everyone, no matter what their age or skin type, needs to take care when going out in the sun,' Dr Capolingua said.
The Cancer Council recommends five steps to protect against skin cancer:
• wear sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible,
• apply broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure and every two hours afterwards,
• wear a hat that protects your face, head, neck and ears,
• seek shade whenever possible, and
• wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare.