Is it safe to use a sunbed?

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Woman on a sun bed
Under 18s are now banned from using sunbeds in England and Wales.

The new law comes in just days after a report from Cancer Research UK was released which found that every day, more than 2 people under 35 are diagnosed with malignant melanoma - the most deadly form of skin cancer.

It's already illegal for under 18s to use sunbeds in Scotland and the same law will be introduced in Northern Ireland in the next year.

You can increase your chances of skin cancer by using a sunbed. In fact, using a sunbed under the age of 35 can increase your risk of melanoma by 75%, according to
Cancer Research UK.

It's been estimated that more than 100 deaths a year in the UK occur from skin cancer linked to sunbed use.

We talked to Cancer Research to give you the facts about sun beds and tanning.

Sunbed tanning is safer than sun tanning

False! Sun beds are not a 'safe' alternative to sun tanning. Sun beds give out ultraviolet (UV) rays just like the sun. Exposure to UV rays, whether from the sun or a sun bed, damages the DNA in your skin cells. In fact, the strength of UV rays from sun beds can be up to 10-15 times higher than that of the midday sun.

Building up a sunbed tan gradually means I'm tanning safely

False! Unfortunately, using sunscreen or limiting your time on a sun bed will not protect your skin from damage and ageing. Actually short periods of intense, irregular exposure to UV, as happens on a sun bed, is the fastest way to damage your skin. Sun beds will age your skin.

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