Pigmented naevi and sun protection behaviour among primary and secondary school students in an Eastern Hungarian city

Emese Gellén, Eszter Janka, Ildikó Tamás, Balázs Ádám, Irene Horkay, Gabriella Emri, E. Remenyik

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Summary: Background: The most important risk factors for malignant melanoma are skin type I or II, large number of atypical naevi and a history of sunburn in childhood and adolescence. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed to assess skin type, number of pigmented lesions and sun protection behaviour in 1157 12- to 19-year-old Hungarian students at 20 primary and secondary schools in Debrecen, Hungary. After receiving dermatological training, 18 school doctors examined the students' skin. A questionnaire was completed by the students with the assistance of their parents about sun protection, sunburns and the use of sunbed. Data from 612 questionnaires were evaluated. Results: Based on the doctors' evaluation, most of the pupils were classified as having skin type II and majority of them had 5-20 naevi, particularly on the trunk. Based on the student's response, 5.2% purposely sunbathed daily, 10.1% did not use any form of sun protection, 32.2% wore sun-protective clothing and 65.7% applied sunscreen generally. 6.9% used sunbed, and 74.0% previously experienced serious sunburn at least once. Indoor tanning statistically correlated with the number of melanocytic naevi. Conclusion: A high prevalence of sunburn was reported by the students and some of them did not apply any sun protection methods but used sunbed at a critical age for developing melanoma at a later time. These data highlight the importance of educating children and parents about appropriate sun protection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhotodermatology Photoimmunology and Photomedicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2015



  • Indoor tanning
  • Melanocytic naevi
  • School children
  • Sun protection
  • Sun-safe behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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