UK & World News
UV Skin Scanner To Reveal Sunbed Damage
An ultraviolet skin scanner which highlights the risks of sunbeds will be taken around Britain's shopping centres as part of a new campaign.
The machine will show shoppers the ageing effects and hidden damage caused by using sunbeds.
New figures show that rates of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, have more than tripled among people aged between 15 and 34 in the past three decades.
The rate of malignant melanoma for the age group is now at eight cases per 100,000, up from 2.1 in the late 1970s and higher than the UK average of six cases per 100,000.
UV rays from sunbeds or over-exposure to the sun can damage the skin's DNA and, over time, this damage can build up and lead to skin cancer.
The campaign, called 'R UV Ugly?' is backed by Cancer Research UK.
Jacqui Carruthers, from Renfrewshire in Scotland, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in March 2009, just after her son Jude was born when she was aged 29.
She was referred to the dermatology department at the Royal Alexandra hospital in Paisley after a mole on her back began to change colour and became raised.
The 33-year-old believes using sunbeds were to blame for her developing cancer.
"I hope the R UV Ugly? skin scanner gives people an insight into the damage they are doing to their skin and shows them that using sunbeds can eventually make you look old before your time."
The campaign will begin in Scotland.
Vicky Crichton, Cancer Research's public affairs manager for Scotland, said it was important to educate people about the dangers of sunbeds.
She said: "As the cold, dark nights draw in, we want to ensure that people realise that sunbeds are not the answer. Using sunbeds can make your skin coarse, leathery and wrinkly.
"We'd like sunbed users in Scotland to come and take a look for themselves at some of the damage that may be lurking under their skin."