Skin Smart Campus

Circular logo that reads National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention Indoor Tan-Free Skin Smart CampusThe University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has been recognized as a Skin Smart Campus by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.  Ensuring the well-being of our students, we are providing a safe and healthy learning and living environment on and off campus and pledging to keep indoor tanning devices off our campus and our affiliated buildings. We also promote skin cancer prevention policies and education.

The Indoor Tan-Free Skin Smart Campus Initiative is sponsored by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention in response to the 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer, which concluded that there is a strong association between increased risk of skin cancer and indoor tanning use.

Ultraviolet radiation exposure from indoor tanning is completely avoidable, which allows for interventions to help reduce skin-cancer related illness and deaths. Numerous studies have found that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with melanoma as one of the most common cancers diagnosed among young adults and the use of indoor tanning facilities before the age of 35 increasing the risk for melanoma by 59 percent. 

An Initiative Started by a Student

Shealinna Ge completed her medical education at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in May of 2019. Her passion for dermatology and her dedication to educate others on sun protection and skin health encouraged her to seek out the Skin Smart Campus initiative and bring it to the University of Maryland campus. She has been enjoying her preliminary medicine internship at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California, and will return to the University of Maryland to complete her dermatology residency training in the summer of 2020, where she will learn the diagnosis and management of various disorders related to the skin.


General Facts

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. The two most common skin cancers (basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas) are highly curable but can be disfiguring and costly. Melanoma, the third-most common skin cancer, may be deadly.

General risk factors include:

  • Light skin, or skin that burns, freckles, or reddens easily
  • Large number of moles
  • Blue or green eyes
  • Blond or red hair
  • Personal or family history of skin cancer
  • Sun exposure
  • History of sunburns, especially in early life
  • History of indoor tanning
    • The average tanning bed gives off 2 to 10 times more UV radiation than the sun
    • Using tanning beds before the age of 35 increases a person's risk for developing melanoma by 75 percent

The majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light and can be prevented with sun safety practices:

  • Seeking shade
  • Wearing: sunscreen (broad spectrum UVA and UVB, SPF 30 or higher and re-applying every two hours and after swimming, sweating or toweling off), protective clothing such as long sleeves/pant, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses

For more information, visit these websites:


  1. Skin Cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 2014. Accessed July 11, 2016.
  2. Hillhouse, J. 2007. "Keep the skin you were born in!"
  3. Tanning. Skin Cancer Foundation. Published 2016. Accessed February 14, 2017.