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Negative effects of sunbeds (UV):


Burns as well as tanning are a side effect of UV radiation emitted by sunbeds, particularly on skin prone to burning in sunlight. One hour or more of UVA exposure (can be less time depending on skin type) can produce:








Skin rashes




Occasionally admissions to a hospitals burns unit.


Skin frailty (common in people who have used UVA sunbeds twice a week       or more for 1+ years (Murphy et al, 1989).


Causes sunburn - 
UV burns the skin. Sunburn is a burn that occurs when skin cells are damaged. This damage to the skin is caused by the absorption of energy from UV rays. Extra blood flows to the damaged skin in an attempt to repair it, which is why your skin turns red when you are sunburnt.


Damages immune system – 
Over-exposure to UV radiation has a harmful suppressing effect on the immune system. Scientists believe that sunburn can change the distribution and function of disease-fighting white blood cells in humans for up to 24 hours after exposure to the sun. Repeated over-exposure to UV radiation can cause even more damage to the body's immune system. The immune system defends the body against bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and infections.


Damages eyes – 
Prolonged exposure to UV or high intensities of UV (for example, in sunbeds) damages the tissues of eyes and can cause a ‘burning’ of the eye surface, called ‘snow blindness’. The effects usually disappear within a couple of days, but may lead to further complications later in life. UV damage to the eyes is cumulative, so it is never too late to start protecting the eyes. Sunbeds predominantly have a higher UVA emission than UVB. Cataracts formation has been shown to increase in exposure to UVB radiation in the 295-325nm wavelength range. The cornea blocks wavelengths below 300nm protecting the retina from most of the UV radiation, however trace amounts of UVB radiation can still reach the retina. Ocular damage and exposure of the eyes to harmful levels of UV radiation, can be reduced by wearing protective goggles (ICNIRP, 2003)


Ages skin –
UV speeds up the ageing of skin, it destroys collagen and connective tissue. This 
causes wrinkles, brown 'liver/sun’ spots and loss of skin elasticity


Diseases caused by UV exposure:


The induction of other diseases due to exposure to UV radiation include:



the lens of the eye becomes increasingly opaque, resulting in impaired vision, and blindness. A specific cataract type called cortical cataract is associated with long term sun exposure.



this is a growth which progressively encroaches across the eyes surface. 40-70% of this disease is due to UV exposure.


Cold sores 

reactivation of herpes of the lip. UV radiation exposure is attributable for 50% of the manifestation of this disease.