Sunbed usage going to rise in UK

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As the credit crunch continues to hit UK adults hard in the pocket, a new survey, released by Cancer Research UK to raise awareness of its annual SunSmart campaign, reveals that some sun seekers are planning to swap their summer holidays for increased sessions on a sunbed.

The survey, published to mark Sun Awareness Week, shows that almost a fifth of sunbed users (19 per cent) are planning to increase their sunbed usage because they cannot afford to go on a summer holiday.

Periods of intense exposure to UV, as you would get from a sunbed or on a summer holiday, are a sure way to damage and age the skin. The intensity of some UV rays from sunbeds can be up to 15 times higher than that of the midday sun. Using a sunbed once a month or more can increase your risk of skin cancer by more than half.

The survey found that overall, a third (34 per cent) of UK adults are less likely to go on a sunny summer holiday this year due to the recession. At the same time, almost one in three (29 per cent) said they would be disappointed if they did not get a tan this summer, with 46 per cent believing a tan makes them look healthier and 22 per cent thinking they will be more attractive if they have a tan.

Katy Scammell, SunSmart campaign manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “As the recession takes its toll on people’s holiday plans, what is clear is that a tan is still something that many people value and aspire to. Using a sunbed may seem like a cheap, quick fix to achieve that summer glow, yet while the process may only take a few moments, the damage can last a lifetime.

“With all the evidence linking over-exposure to UV radiation with skin cancer, it’s surprising that so many people are still putting their health at risk by using sunbeds. Exposure to these harmful rays increases your risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Not only do the harmful rays increase your risk of skin cancer, but they also lead to premature ageing and the appearance of lines, wrinkles and coarse, leathery skin.

“If you really can’t do without a tan this summer, then the best option is to fake it.”

Don’t let sunburn catch you out this year. Use shade, clothing and sunscreen to protect yourself.

Source: Cancer Research UK, UK

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