Majority of Dermatologists Call for Sunbeds To Be Banned in the UK
According to a survey recently launched by the British Skin Foundation, 77% of dermatologists agree that sunbeds should be banned altogether in the UK while others call for stricter regulations.
In the survey it was also revealed that
94% of dermatologists agree that unregulated tanning salons are contributing to skin cancer cases in the UK.
91% of dermatologists agree that tanning salons contribute significantly to the rates of skin cancer in the UK and the age at which people are legally allowed to use sunbeds should be increased from 18 to 21.
94% of dermatologists agree that there should be stricter enforcement of age restrictions on sunbeds in the UK
Lisa Bickerstaffe, British Skin Foundation spokesperson, commented on the findings;
“The dermatologists’ opinions appear to support research stating the potential to get skin cancer, including melanoma, is increased in those who have also used sunbeds. We know that there is no such thing as a safe tan from UV rays, therefore, the British Skin Foundation, in line with other health organisations does not recommend sunbed use.”
Although sunbeds are marketed as a "controlled way" to get a safer tan, in reality, sunbeds are no safer than exposure to the sun itself. Like the sun, sunbeds give off UVA and UVB radiation that can damage the DNA in your skin cells. If enough DNA damage builds up over time, it can cause cells to start growing out of control, which can lead to skin cancer. Using sunbeds can increase your risk of melanoma skin cancer by 16-20%.
It should be noted that a tan is a reaction to damage in skin cells when it is exposed to too much UV radiation. There is no such thing as healthy tanning.
The British Skin Foundation survey was undertaken in July 2019 and answered by 245 predominantly British dermatologists. The British Skin Foundation are the only UK charity that raises money to fund research into all types of skin diseases, including skin cancer.