Sunbeds give out UV rays that can increase the risk of skin cancer. The more you use sunbeds, the greater the risk of skin cancer. Using a sunbed to get a tan can give you skin damage, wrinkles and brown spots causing premature ageing.

Using a sunbed if you're under 18

Young people under 18 years old are banned from using, hiring or buying sunbeds in Northern Ireland.

District councils are responsible for enforcing the law about sunbeds. The local council can prosecute a business that allows an 18-year old to use, buy or hire a sunbed.  

Health risks using a sunbed

Young people under 18 are particularly at risk, as their skin is more delicate and prone to damage than older skin. Sunbed users under the age of 35 have a 75 per cent higher risk of developing malignant melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.

Using a sunbed to get a tan can give you wrinkles and brown spots causing:

  • premature ageing
  • an increased risk of developing skin cancer

Using a sunbed if you are over 18

You should avoid using sunbeds if you:

  • have fair or freckled skin
  • burn easily
  • have many skin moles
  • have a family history of skin cancer
  • take medicine that increases your sensitivity to UV

If you don't tan in the sun, you won't tan more easily on a sunbed. Getting a tan before you go on a sun holiday doesn't build up your resistance to UV rays. Spending too much time in the sun causes skin damage even if you are tanned.

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