Sheffield has a higher concentration of tanning parlours than most other areas of the country, cancer experts revealed today as they issued a new warning against sunbeds.
Cancer Research UK is visiting Sheffield tomorrow in a bid to stop young people using sunbeds and raise awareness about the skin damage, premature ageing and health dangers.
The charity is targeting Sheffield for its high concentration of tanning outlets.
Dr Claire Knight, senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “Sheffield has a particularly high concentration of sunbed outlets – 65 – which equates to about 13 for every 100,000 people in the city.
“Among 15 to 34-year-olds, malignant melanoma rates are significantly higher in Yorkshire than the average across England and rates have tripled since the mid 1980s.
“Sunbeds give out UV rays which can damage the DNA in skin cells and over time this damage can build up and may lead to skin cancer.
“This not only affects ‘binge tanners’. People who use a sunbed just once a month may also be increasing their risk of melanoma by more than half.”
The charity is holding an open day in Sheffield tomorrow, offering free skin scans that show up damage hidden to the naked eye.
The scans, which use specialist technology, usually cost at least £25, and highlight damage beneath the surface.
Cancer Research UK SunSmart campaign manager Chris Lunn added: “We are worried people in Sheffield might be putting their health at risk by visiting tanning salons. Often the consequences aren’t seen for years so we want to help give people a sneak preview of what their future face looks like.”
■ Free scans are available at the sk:n Sheffield clinic, Psalter Lane, Nether Edge. To book call 0800 8223037.