'Sunburn art' isn't really a thing, but damn it the media is trying

One Photoshopped picture does not a trend make

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Indy Lifestyle Online

'Sunburn art' is the new terrifying teen trend, according to ABC, Metro and a few other publications, which sees people intentionally burning patterns into themselves to create a white tattoo effect.

The effect is achieved by applying sun cream, tape or temporary tattoos to areas of the body like stencils and sees "popular culture clashing with medical advice", according to a dermatologist who spoke to ABC News.

It's obviously a dumb thing to do, but is it actually popular?

This image is being shared the most in relation to it, but is of dubious origin and looks pretty Photoshopped.

A photo posted by S.Chacon (@loveitliveitnow) on

A couple of seemingly genuine ones are floating around on Instagram, attracting a handful of likes.

A photo posted by Brenden Eleen (@bbear430) on

But beyond that, photos of the trend are scant, with the hashtag #sunburnart having only been used on Instagram 66 times.

Most of them are people being ironic, showing off their accidental horrific tan lines.

A photo posted by Cole Herren (@herren838) on

All publications have been quick to damn the idea of suntan 'art', pointing out that a pretty flower effect probably isn't worth the irreparable damage of your skin, but in pretending it's a thing to begin with, they're probably only going to perpetuate it.