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Your Sunburn Art Could Seriously Be Giving You Cancer

Prepare to slather on your SPF 70.

One look at the #SunburnArt hashtag on Instagram will have you feeling the second-hand ouch in the worst possible way. The nasty burns in the tag are part of the newest body-art trend where people apply strategic layers of sunscreen in designs before they sit out to bake in the sun, leaving behind a painful-looking fake tattoo effect.

We were kinda worried about whether this fad would have some real consequences, so we talked to Dr. Cameron K. Rokhsar, Founder & Medical Director of the New York Cosmetic Skin & Laser Surgery Center, for a professional opinion.

Immediately, in an email to MTV News, Dr. Rokhsar said that sun burn art is "foolish." He said that burning the skin in a pattern damages the DNA of skin cells with ultraviolet radiation and damaged skin cells are the ones that start to multiply in an uncontrolled manner — and that's skin cancer, "targeted skin cancer."

"Studies have shown that three incidents of severe sun burns [throughout your life] dramatically increase the risk of skin cancer," Dr. Rokhsar said. "So, in my opinion, sun burn art is foolish art or deadly art."

Maybe just stick to henna instead?