Sunbathers are putting themselves at risk of developing skin cancer in their pursuit of the perfect tan, a survey has found.
Despite increased awareness of the causes and risks of skin cancer, nearly half of UK tan addicts spent too long in the sun without protection this summer, leaving them sunburnt and exposed to an increased risk of developing melanoma, the poll from Superdrug and Cancer Research UK found.
A third of those who got sunburnt this summer were trying to get a tan, the data shows.
As the UK continues to trail behind more sun-drenched countries, such as Australia and the US, at raising awareness of the damaging affects of the sun, nurses across the country continue to see cases of skin cancer in patients that could have been avoided by the simple application of sun cream.
More than one in three (34%) of those who were sunburnt said they would be a bit more careful next year, but would still go out in the hope of getting a tan.
About 39% of those who were red said they burn every year, while 41% had not even been trying to get a tan but had not realised the sun was strong enough to burn them.
Ed Yong, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said: “Getting painful sunburn just once every two years can triple the risk of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.”