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Two-fifths allow sunburn to 'tan'

Two-fifths of people (40%) say they burn their skin in the sun on purpose to “deepen a tan”, research has shown.

Despite 90% being aware that sunburn can cause skin cancer, 25% of 1,000 men and women polled believed this was the only way they would get tanned.

Getting a painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk of skin cancer (melanoma), research shows.

The number of people diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, is on the rise in the UK with around 35 people being diagnosed every day.

Yet more than 10% of people were planning to sunbathe in the UK without sun tan lotion, the research from Macmillan Cancer Support shows.

Carol Goodman, skin cancer nurse specialist on the Macmillan Support line said: “As we start to look forward to summer after one of the coldest winters yet, it is alarming that staying safe in the sun is not a priority for many people.

“Sunburn will cause serious damage to your skin which can lead to cancer. A diagnosis of malignant melanoma can be just as fatal as some other cancers.”

People in the Midlands and Wales are 30% more likely than people in the North and Scotland to burn in the sun in order to tan3. 

The poll also showed that young people (aged 18-35) were found to be more than twice as likely as their parents (aged over 55) to believe that burning in the sun will result in getting a tan quicker.