There are thousands of people who love sunbathing, which is an activity that includes sitting or lying in the sun to get tanned. Some people also use the sunbeds, which are found in tanning salons, gyms, spas, hotels and sporting facilities to develop such skin tone. Even though these things are not labelled as extremely dangerous for human, tanning addiction caused the amputation of a woman's ear.
Dangerous effects of tanning methods
A 44-year-old UK woman, Anthea Smith told BBC that she had her left ear amputated after developing skin cancer. She talked to the BBC's Staffordshire reporter Laura Mcmullan, who was also addicted to sunbathing and using sunbeds. Mcmullan was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2014.
In a video, she stated that "I don't think people realize how dangerous melanoma can be. It starts with a mole, or in my case a little red spot on the back of my leg and within six months it had spread to the lymph nodes in my groin."
Smith who had to undergo surgery after she got cancer said that her whole left ear was amputated first and then during the second operation doctors removed her inner ear, middle ear, all the salivary glands on the left side, all the lymph nodes and full temple bone was taken from the skull. She said, "I was addicted to having a tan and being tanned. Predominantly it was sunbeds because it was quicker and the results were faster."
Are sunbeds dangerous?
While describing whether such practices are dangerous or not, and expert has referred to the use of tanning parlours as "an industrial-scale radiation exposure experiment involving significant parts of the populations of Northern Europe and America."
Reported by WHO, it should be mentioned that sunbed radiation can produce adverse health effects similar to those of natural sunlight, most notably in fair-skinned persistent users. In this context, it is a subject of great concern that approximately 40 percent of sunbed users in the UK have fair skin. The same study identified that 20 percent of people questioned had more than 100 annual sunbed sessions, and five percent had used sunbeds for 15 to 20 years.
While discouraging the use of sunbeds for cosmetic tanning, Public Health England said that there is no evidence to suggest that any type of sunbed is harmful than natural sun exposure. While Cancer Research UK said that there are about 16,000 new melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK every year, the cancer charity, Melanoma UK has already called for a ban on sunbeds in the country.