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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 May, 2005, 09:12 GMT 10:12 UK
'Tanorexic' teenager risks cancer
Hayley Barlow
Hayley says being brown suits her better
A schoolgirl who has used sunbeds since she was 12 years old has been warned she is at serious risk of developing skin cancer by the time she reaches 30.

Hayley Barlow, 14, from West Derby in Liverpool, used to sneak to the solarium after telling her mother she was going out to the cinema.

The teenager, who has been labelled a "tanorexic" as she uses sunbeds so often, says being brown "suits her".

But doctors say her tanning has given her the skin of a 25-year-old.

Photographs of her face taken under ultra violet light show her skin is heavily pigmented, especially around her eyes and nose, because of her sunbed use.

I just can't imagine being white
Hayley Barlow
Despite this advice she still visits sunbed salons about once a fortnight.

"I do worry about skin cancer because my nan had it, even though she never used a sunbed, but I could not say I will never use a sunbed ever again.

"Being brown is very important to me. It suits me better. I just can't imagine being white," she said.

"I would like to warn other teenagers not to use sunbeds, because of the damage they can cause. I would say use fake tan, because it is cheaper and healthier."

Her mother, Ann, said the fact that sunbeds sessions are so cheap is part of the problem.

"You would give your child a pound to get some food or drink, but Hayley was using it to go on the sunbeds. They are just so cheap."

Dr Niall Wilson, a consultant dermatologist at Liverpool's Broadgreen Hospital, said he sees many young girls who use sunbeds more than they should.

"In addition to skin cancer, they put themselves at risk of premature ageing of the skin and damage to the eyes," he said.

Young 'tanorexics' risking cancer
24 May 04 |  Real Story
Q&A: Sunbeds
22 Sep 03 |  Health


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