Abstract Number: 90

Selfies, body image and skin cancer: How does social media shape tanning attitudes and behaviours?

L. Abbott1,2, P. Fernandez-Penas1, ,4

Meeting: 2018 Dermcoll

Session Information

Date: -

Session Title: Poster Presentations

Session Time: -

Centenary Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, New
South Wales, Australia
Discipline of Dermatology, University of Sydney,
Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute,
Translational Research Institute, University of Queensland, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia

The Rab GTPase family of trafficking proteins is increasingly being implicated in cancer cell biology. Genetic screens in early passage melanoma cell lines have identified Rab27a as a tumour driver gene. While the role of Rab27a in melanosome trafficking in melanocytes is well known, its precise function in melanoma cells and melanoma progression remains poorly understood. In the present study, we found that Rab27a expression was significantly increased in human melanoma samples compared to benign nevi, and high Rab27a expression was associated with a poorer clinical outcome. Knockdown of Rab27a in melanoma cell lines inhibited proliferation, colony formation, 3D spheroid invasion and reduced cell motility in a collagen matrix. Conditioned media or purified exosomes from control melanoma cells was able to rescue the invasion defect in Rab27a knockdown cells,Introduction: Despite decades of skin cancer prevention campaigns in Australia, tanning remains common. Previous studies have identified a link between social and cultural norms and intentional sun-exposure, influenced by media representations of tanning and peer attitudes. Social media has the potential to combine both peer influence and external media sources, and has been correlated with increased indoor tanning behaviours in the United States, where such activity is still legal. We theorised that higher rates of social media usage, particularly photo-centric sites such as Instagram, are likely to be associated with an
increased focus on appearance and increased sun exposure.
Aim: To assess frequency of various aspects of social media usage and correlate with tanning attitudes and sun exposure behaviour in individuals undergoing a skin check.
Method: Patients undergoing a skin check were invited to participate in a survey, including questions regarding tanning beliefs and behaviours, appearance orientation and frequency of social media usage.
Results: Social media usage correlated significantly with positive attitudes towards tanning, with Facebook and Instagram users reporting feeling more attractive and self-confident with tanned skin. This correlation was particularly strong amongst users who reported posting “selfies” (p = 0.0003). Instagram users and posters of “selfies” were more likely to have higher appearance orientation scores.
Conclusion: As social media usage is correlated with positive tanning attitudes, it may therefore provide a cost-effective avenue for targeted influence of those more likely to tan, whilst also having the potential to shape social norms and beliefs amongst other social media users.