FRIDAY, June 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A facial morphing intervention may reduce skin cancer risk behaviors among young adults, according to a study published in the June issue of Body Image.

Aaron J. Blashill, Ph.D., from San Diego State University, and colleagues examined the efficacy of an appearance-based facial morphing program for reducing intentional ultraviolet exposure among individuals at risk for skin cancer. Two hundred nineteen young adults with a history of recent intentional tanning and future intentions to tan were randomized in a three-arm trial. Facial morphing + health information was compared with mindfulness + health information and health information only (control).

The researchers found that at one-month follow-up, facial morphing participants reported less frequent tanning than mindfulness and control participants. At immediate follow-up, facial morphing participants also generally reported lower intentions to tan, although the magnitude of these effects was attenuated at one-month follow-up.

“These results are important as they suggest that a brief 10-minute intervention focusing on appearance changes can substantially reduce indoor tanning among at-risk individuals,” Blashill said in a statement. “It’s possible that kiosks could be installed in physician waiting areas, and patients could use the facial morphing program while waiting to see their physician. There are also possible expansions with the use of mobile apps, which would allow people to see the future effects of tanning from the convenience of their smart phone.”

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