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STUDY: Careful with Sunbeds
JOURNAL: BMA's Board of Science and Education
AUTHORS: British Medical Association
ABSTRACT: People should stop using sun beds because of the dangers of ultra-violet radiation.
COMMENTARY: The "Sunbeds" report, from the BMA's Board of Science and Education, calls on the Government to regulate sunbed use after research has shown that some people are having more than 100 sunbed sessions a year.
It's ironic, people use sunbeds because they think they'll look better and yet they will probably end up looking old prematurely and possibly getting skin cancer.
The report said the risk of skin cancer appeared to be greatest for the young, with the chances of developing a tumour increasing by up to 20% per decade of sunbed use before the age of 56.
Other health risks include premature ageing of the skin and damage to the cornea, as people often do not wear protective goggles. There is also increasing evidence that sunbeds have an immunosuppressive effect.
The BMA noted that ultra-violet radiation is sometimes used to treat psoriasis and eczema. However in these circumstances a dermatologist records every dose after each treatment and a lifetime total is recorded as a safety measure. This careful dosing does not happen with tanning salons or when people have sunbeds in their home.