Experts have warned that teenagers could be risking skin cancer by getting sunburn in a bid to get a tan.
According to a survey conducted by Teenage Cancer Trust, as many as 26% of young people deliberately get sun burnt because they think it will turn into a tan.
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Some 31% admitted they always avoided using sun cream in the country, while 55% of those surveyed thought that compared with other places, the sun is less powerful in the UK.
The study was carried out to mark the launch of a new sun safety campaign called Shunburn.
Trust chief executive Simon Davies said: “We’ve found that young people display a worrying lack of awareness when it comes to protecting their skin from the sun.
“We are trying to educate them to prevent the over exposure to sun whilst young, which can lead to problems with skin cancer later in life.
“If we can stop just one young person from developing skin cancer when they are older then this year’s Shunburn campaign will have been worth it.”
Skins star Nicholas Hoult and former EastEnder Michelle Ryan are supporting the initiative.
Ryan said: “When I was on holiday a few years ago I just didn’t apply enough suncream and I burnt my legs really badly. I now always remember to put sun block on my face and factor 25 on the rest of my body.”