Opinion

Sunbeds – Are we REALLY aware of the risks?

sunbed

A sunbed using ultraviolet rays

Although sunbeds have been proven to increase your risk of cancer significantly when used at any point, people still continue to use them, especially youngsters. This has to make us question as human beings, ‘Are we doing enough to raise awareness?’. Unfortunately, I was once a naive young girl who was unaware of the health risks that followed the glowing tan and I did use sunbeds at times. Fortunately however, I am not one of the unlucky ones who have had life changing news where health is concerned.  Sunbeds are incredibly dangerous and can kill you. When you put this into perspective it encourages us to realise that people are killing themselves for a tan. This is not OK.

Not only do sunbeds increase your risk of malignant tumors, they create skin damage and premature ageing. Sunbeds use concentrated rays of ultraviolet radiation ( UV). The sun also produces ultraviolet radiation, however it uses different concentrations and types, (scarily I was unaware about this until last year). The sun’s rays can be beneficial to our skin in moderation, however sunbeds are not beneficial and are more detrimental. In a nutshell, sunbeds use concentrated amounts of UV rays that are completely unsafe for our skin.

Most people tend to use sunbeds for aesthetic purposes which is ironic considering the negative physical effects they produce. Baggy skin, blotchiness and wrinkling do not sound like the desired outcome in my opinion. Short term effects are burnt skin, eye irritation from over exposure and skin dryness. Whilst long term effects are increased chance of cataracts and skin cancer.

Trailing through various sunbed websites I was stunned. One website tried to explain that sunbeds were safe due to the fact that our skin needs sunlight for vitamin D intake. However, the sun is not as highly concentrated or dangerous in short spurts as sunbeds. It is this kind of information that is leading our younger generation into a false sense of security.

Education is there to be shared and to benefit all types of people. It is our responsibility to raise awareness and spread these facts in order to reduce the likelihood of skin cancer.

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