July 2019

Many dermatologists agree that sunbeds should be banned in the UK

77% of dermatologists agree that sunbeds should be banned altogether in the UK according to a recent survey undertaken by the British Skin Foundation.

From the same survey:

  • 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.

British Skin Foundation spokesperson, Lisa Bickerstaffe, says:

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.

Remember, if you are worried about a mole or patch of skin then seek help sooner rather than later.

Most skin cancers can be cured if caught early – remember to check your skin regularly for changes. Ask a friend or use a mirror for hard to see places such as your scalp, ears and back. Visit your GP or dermatologist straight away if you have moles or a patch of skin that are changing shape, growing, developing new colours, inflamed, bleeding, crusting, red around the edges, particularly itchy or behaving unusually in any way.

For more information on checking your skin, click here. 

The British Skin Foundation survey was undertaken in July 2019 and answered by 245 predominantly British dermatologists.

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Wehner MR, Chren M, Nameth D, Choudhry A, Gaskins M, Nead KT, et al. International prevalence of indoor tanning: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol. 2014; 150(4):390–400

Boniol M, Autier P, Boyle P, Gandini S. Cutaneous melanoma attributable to sunbed use: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2012; 345:e4757 and [Correction] BMJ 2012; 345:e8503.