One study involved U.S. young adults ages 18-29 found 50 percent reported at least one sunburn in the past year, despite an increase in the use of sunscreen, seeking shade and wearing long clothing to the ankles.
A second study found indoor tanning is common among young adults, with the highest rates of indoor tanning among white women ages 18-21 at 32 percent and ages 22-25 at 30 percent.
"More public health efforts, including providing shade and sunscreen in recreational settings, are needed to raise awareness of the importance of sun protection and sunburn prevention to reduce the burden of skin cancer," Dr. Marcus Plescia, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said in a statement. "We must accelerate our efforts to educate young adults about the dangers of indoor tanning to prevent melanoma as this generation ages."
Forty-four percent of white women ages 18-21 who resided in the Midwest had the highest prevalence of indoor tanning, followed by 36 percent of those ages 22-25 who resided in the South, the study said.
Both studies used data from the National Health Interview Survey's Cancer Control Supplement.
The findings were published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.