# Saturday, 18 April 2009

I read this article with some amazement. It looks at the story of a fifteen year old girl who became addicted to using sunbeds. So much so, that she began using them twice a day spending all her pocket money on topping up her tan. Several years later her skin began flaking off, she has developed scarring caused by too much exposure and she is on chemotherapy to treat a rash triggered by sunbed use. In addition to this her chances of getting skin cancer have soared. A couple of things worry me here, the first is that the girl seemed oblivious to the dangers of sunbed exposure and the second is that the girl’s mother appeared to have no knowledge of what her daughter was doing. Both seemed equally surprised that sunbed exposure could lead to a lasting skin condition but in some ways this girl appears to have got off lightly. The article highlights other cases where sunbed use has resulted in the user developing skin cancer in the form of a malignant melanoma, although once again these girls were lucky that the cancer was caught quickly and had not spread. I have difficulty understanding why someone would want to risk developing a lasting skin condition or possibly even cancer for the sake of a tan. Personally I try to limit my exposure to sun and am quite happy with a pasty white complexion, I would rather that, than the alternative. What do you think is getting a tan worth the risk?