Sunbeds - THE FACTS
Sunbeds are not safe, FACT. Recent statistics from Cancer Research UK have shown an alarming increase in malignant melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) among women in their 20's and sunbeds are believed to be a contributory factor. The intensity of UV rays in some sunbeds can be more than 10 times stronger than the midday sun.
Labels like 'tanorexic' and 'binge-tanning' are used more and more in the media highlighting the true extent of the problem. Unregulated use of sunbeds is partly to blame with many teenagers becoming hooked on sunbed use, believing they look better and therefore healthier with a tan, the fact is however, all a tan displays is sun damaged skin.
Regular sunbed use under the age of 30 increases the risk of skin cancer by an alarming 75% and the binge-tanning epidemic that is prevalent amongst young women in this country has propelled malignant melanoma above cervical cancer making this deadliest form of skin cancer the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in their 20s for the first time.
It is a common misconception that sunbeds provide health benefits, the most common being the vitamin D Debate. For most people just going about their normal business in the summer months is sufficient to produce the required vitamin D levels. We certainly don't need to sunbathe to make enough vitamin D. We can also get vitamin D from certain foods including milk, fish, egg yolks, and fortified cereals. It is also a common misconception that sunbed use prior to going abroad builds a natural defence to the sun's rays, the fact is that UV exposure from sunbeds is exactly the same as the damaging UV rays produced by the sun - there is no such thing as a safe tan!
We strongly advise those who seek a tan to switch to sunless tanning options. Fake tanning is a huge market adopted by both men and women who are concerned about UV exposure and wish to take care of their skin. Excessive UV exposure not only dramatically increases your chances of developing melanoma it is one of the most common causes of premature aging and once the damage is done, there's no going back!
Tanning risks in the news
Reduce UV Tanning Health Risks (PDF)
Sunbed Health Risks (PDF)