Page last updated at 03:47 GMT, Monday, 11 May 2009 04:47 UK

Sunbed use 'to rise' in recession

Man using sunbed
Sunbed UV rays can be many times stronger than the sun

A fifth of regular sunbed users are planning to increase usage because they cannot afford a holiday abroad owing to the recession, a survey suggests.

The poll for Cancer Research UK found 34% of more than 2,000 people were less likely to travel somewhere sunny.

The charity warned that using a sunbed once a month or more could increase skin cancer risk by more than half, and recommended applying fake tan.

Some 29% of people said they would be disappointed if they did not get a tan.

Almost half - 46% - said a tan made them look healthier, while 22% said they felt it made them more attractive.

Katy Scammell, of Cancer Research, said: "As the recession takes its toll on people's holiday plans, what is clear is that a tan is still something that many people value and aspire to.

"Using a sunbed may seem like a cheap, quick fix to achieve that summer glow, yet while the process may only take a few moments, the damage can last a lifetime."

The charity says some ultraviolet rays from sunbeds are up to 15 times stronger than those from the midday sun.

"Not only do the harmful rays increase your risk of skin cancer, but they also lead to premature ageing and the appearance of lines, wrinkles and coarse, leathery skin," Ms Scammell said.

"If you really can't do without a tan this summer, then the best option is to fake it."

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