The Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund

Tackling Rising Rates of Melanoma

Melanoma Facts

Melanoma & Sunbeds

If you are thinking of using a sunbed, we advise you not to. But don’t take our word for it. Here is some advice from others:

“Sunbeds are estimated to cause around 100 deaths from melanoma every year in the UK” Cancer Research UK

“When it comes to sunbeds it’s unfortunately a big NO. Irrefutable scientific studies have shown a very strong link between sunbeds and melanoma and non melanoma cancers” Paul Banwell FRCS(Plast)

“Sunbeds are “linked to 100,000 cancer cases a year in the UK” Daily Express

The simple fact is that sunbeds are not a safe alternative to lying outside in the sun, as skin will still be exposed to harmful UV rays. There are many health risks linked to sunbeds which include:

  • skin cancer
  • premature ageing of skin
  • sunburnt skin
  • dryness and itching
  • bumpy rashes
  • eye irritation

“Using sunbeds before the age of 35 increases your risk of skin cancer by up to 75%,” says Katy Scammell of Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart campaign “they also accelerate the skin’s natural ageing process!”

New laws on sunbed use

Thankfully, It is now illegal for people under 18 years old to use sunbeds, including in tanning salons, beauty salons, leisure centres, gyms and hotels. Although we obviously do not recommend using a sunbed, this advise is even more relevant to melanoma if:

  • you have been sunburnt in the past, particularly in childhood
  • you have fair skin that burns easily
  • you have a large number of freckles or red hair
  • you have a large number of moles
  • you’re taking medication that makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight
  • anyone in your family has had skin cancer in the past
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