Binge-tanning causes more cancers in 20-something women

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Thursday 9th April 2009

Everyday, another woman in her twenties is diagnosed with one of the most serious forms of cancer, malignant melanoma, i.e. skin cancer, and it is believed to be largely due to ‘binge tanning’.

We all love that annual holiday to the Canaries, Caribbean or Greece, where we don the shades, throw on a bikini and lay all day in the sun, reading a book or swimming in the pool. As nice as this may be, overdo it and those two weeks of sun, sea and sand may not seem so blissful if you are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with skin cancer.

Most people use sunscreen, however if you opt for the lower factors, such as 4, 8, 10, even 15, we would say you might as well not bother. Factor 25 or above is what we would recommend, and plenty of it too. We know it can be expensive, but you really should slap that stuff on at least every hour and a half in mild sun shine. For the Caribbean and other places nearer the equator the sun is stronger, so you must be extra vigilant with your applications and avoid the sun at peak times. Sunburn alert technology may help in the near future!

Please don’t use oil – even if it claims to have an SPF, you will still fry like a chip and increase your chances of sun damage. It’s not worth it for a few weeks of bronzed skin. There is, afterall, lots of fake tans that give an even tan throughout the year.

It’s also coming up to Sun Awareness Week, lead by the British Association of Dermatologists, making you aware of the potential damage the sun can cause. Read about our work on Sun Awareness Week last year (2008) and look out for what we will be doing this year on 11th – 17th May 2009.

Remember, if you have any strange moles in terms of shape, appearance or flakiness, see a doctor. An Expert Skin Analysis can assess the sun damage to your face by showing you exactly where the damage lies through UV images. Anti ageing treatments can also wind back the clock and combat any damage done so far.

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