Milan, July 11 – One in two Italians, or 52%, underestimate the risks of sun exposure, according to a survey carried out by the website In a Bottle (www.inabottle.it) on 2,000 Italians and published on Tuesday. The poll found that half of those surveyed had “borderline behavior” in terms of excessive sun exposure in order to get a tan during the summer. It also interviewed 20 doctors and dermatologists for advice on the risks and benefits of tanning to avoid an increase in the risk of skin cancer, among other problems. One of the first mistakes among those polled, according to dermatologists, was lengthy sun exposure to tan more quickly, cited by 49% of those interviewed, and using bronzing creams instead of sunscreen (45%). The result of excessive exposure included sunburn for 66% of those polled, itchy skin for 44% and heat strokes for 37%. Experts also warned of the long-term risks including skin aging (34%) and irreparable skin damage (22%). Skin should be hydrated with creams – with sunscreen applied at least 30 minutes before exposure – and by drinking up to two liters of water a day, experts said, warning against prolonged sun exposure in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are the strongest.