Teenage skin cancer on rise after pressure to have tan
Skin cancer in teenagers is on the rise after pressure in the playground to have a glowing tan.
Health workers have claimed young teenage girls are being bullied for their pale complexions and are reacting by using sunbeds.
New figures from a study by the Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Network and the Liverpool Primary Care Trust have revealed that 60% of teenage girls in Liverpool are at risk of cancer because of their sunbed use.
The study of 13 to 15-year-olds from two schools in Merseyside uncovered children were using sunbeds regularly and that the majority were not asked for proof of age before tanning themselves.
Government guidelines currently strongly advise against children under 16 using sunbeds, however their usage is not against the law.
Cancer network spokesman, Paul Mackenzie said: ‘Within the schools there appeared to be a culture of peer pressure for children to be tanned, extending to bullying in some cases for those children with very pale skin.’
He added: ‘There was a very good awareness of the dangers of sun exposure and the risk of skin cancer but not about the dangers of sunbeds.’
Dr Paula Grey, director of public health for Liverpool, said: ‘These figures are alarming and prove the obsession some teenagers have with looking tanned when it is far healthier to be pale and interesting.’