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04th Apr 2024

How do sunbeds cause skin cancer? What we know

Kat O'Connor

Sunbeds are one of the biggest causes of skin cancer

We are all aware of the risks associated with sunbeds but people continue to use them.

For years, we’ve been told to avoid them because they can increase the risks of skin cancer, but despite the warnings, the usage rate is still far too high.

We see people using them frequently and others may use them ahead of a holiday or a wedding.

Even just one use can increase your chances of getting skin cancer but how do sunbeds damage our skin?

According to health experts, the ultraviolet radiation in sunbeds damages the DNA in your skin which then causes skin cancer.

Using a sunbed exposes your skin to high-intensity ultraviolet radiation which can lead to the most common type of skin cancer; melanoma.

According to Cancer Research UK, you may not see the damage immediately but it can build up over time.

“You can’t always see the damage that UV rays cause as it can build up slowly. But a tan is a reaction to damaged skin cells that have been exposed to too much UV radiation.”

Sunbeds are not a safe tanning option

Some people may believe that using a sunbed is safer than sunbathing outside but that is just a myth.

There is no safe way to tan when it comes to UV tanning so using a fake tan or spray tan is the best thing to do.

Skin cancer is preventative so we should do everything we possibly can to prevent it, including avoiding sunbeds.

Nine out of 10 cases of skin cancer are caused by too much exposure to UV radiation.

The Irish Cancer Society said there are around 13,000 cases of skin cancer diagnosed every year.

If found early, 90% of skin cancers are curable.

“For this reason, it is important to get to know your skin, check it every month for changes, and speak to your doctor if you are worried.”