May 10, 2012 7:26 PM
(NBC) - Young adults are not getting the message about sun exposure according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite the fact the risk for melanoma increases with each sunburn and that tanning beds are a proven cause of cancer, Americans in their teens and 20s are still soaking in the rays.
While it may not be damaging now, doctors say their risk for skin cancer in a couple decades is high.
The study found a third of white women ages 18 to 25 use tanning beds, many going to tanning salons ten or more times each year.
"People who have any kind of indoor tanning exposure have a 75% increased risk for melanoma," warns Dr. Joseph Merola.
Tanning beds aren't the only problem.
Another report found adults under 30 reported at least one sunburn in the past year.
There was some positive news.
More young adults are trying to protect themselves from harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen, sticking to the shade and wearing sun-protective clothing.
However, experts say not enough adults are taking these measures, and when they do they're doing it wrong.
This summer sunscreen labels should be easier to understand.
New FDA rules say "broad spectrum" lotions must have high UVA and UVB protection.
Although sunburn isn't as common among African-Americans, the study found one in ten reported at least one sunburn in 2010.
This group was the least likely to use sunscreen.