Facing The Consequences Of Being A Sunbed Addict
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Facing The Consequences Of Being A Sunbed Addict

If I go a week without going on the
sunbeds, I start to feel anxious. I use baby oil, so I cook myself. I had scabbing all over
my shoulders. I’m literally cooking. I’m like a piece of meat
in a frying pan. I don’t know
if I can go on a sunbed again now. You have made me
feel physically sick. Whenever you go to a tanning salon, they always suggest 7 to 10 minutes. You’re quite daring to say 12. I’m allowed to go on for about 15,
18 minutes at a time now. I don’t use sun cream.
I use baby oil, so I cook myself. The worst burning
incident I’ve ever had would probably be
when I went on holiday and I had scabbing all over
my shoulders. I was screaming while applying aloe
vera. It was really bad. The reason I take short cuts
when I’m tanning is because I want that ultimate tan. I have a favourite sunbed,
and we call it Satan. He’s just a lot more powerful
and a lot stronger than others. I’ve never seen anyone walk
out of that sunbed and not look like they’ve literally been burnt. I think Instagram does play a role because you see people
who are in good shape, they’ve got a nice tan,
so it makes you think, “I want to look like him.” I think a natural tan’s better
because I think there’s a stigma around using fake tan
when you’re a guy. I see a lot of people with the spray
tan. It’s really obvious. If you look natural,
you feel natural. If you’re wearing fake tans
and stuff like that, you’ve been found out. I recently started injecting myself
with tanning injections about three to four times a week. I get them online,
which is a bit risky cos you have no idea what’s in them. I think I’ve tried not to
research into them because I don’t want to be
scared about what I’m actually putting into my body. I tend to take one of them pictures
every single time I go on a sunbed. You do realise when you’re tanning
that it does take an effect on you but what’s one freckle to the
fact my whole body is brown? I don’t reckon
I do care about the risks, otherwise I wouldn’t go on as much. I think I just put
it to the back of my mind and I’m one of them
people who think, “It’s never going to happen to me.” Hi. I’m Gemma. Are you OK? I’ve just been listening
to your story and I just wanted to tell you
the story behind my scar. Two years ago, I was diagnosed
with stage 3 melanoma, which is the deadliest
form of skin cancer. I was very much like you.
I went on the sunbeds all the time, especially if I had a holiday coming
up or a special occasion, and this all came about
because of that, basically. I had a mole on the side of my face
and because of the sunbed use, it turned into cancer. And this picture is me
coming round from my operation where they literally took
all of the lymph nodes from the left side of my neck, leaving me with that horseshoe scar,
which runs right from the back of behind my ear,
down and up my throat. I was told that
I had a 50-50 chance of survival. I’m only two years in remission, so I still have those
odds against me. So you don’t know if…
Unfortunately, I have no idea if I have cancer at the moment. I’m really shocked. It’s such a shame that we think
we need to have a tan to look good, and, actually, you’re potentially at risk
of losing your life… You’re going to make me cry. Sorry. ..for having a tan…is
really upsetting. I think in terms of education, having this conversation is
really important. I’ve never met anyone that suffered
in the way that you have suffered. The only thing that stood out to me
most was the fact that you said that tanning was your thing, you
don’t do anything else that’s bad. I’m presuming you don’t smoke,
or anything else like that, and I just think,
why don’t you smoke? I guess I don’t smoke
because I know the risks and I know people that have been
affected from it. It’s affected me,
to be honest with you. It has. It’s made a difference. So I heard that you were
talking about tanning injections and I’m not going to lie. It made me feel physically sick. The thought of injecting
something… Actually going one step further
and injecting? That you’ve got no idea…
What’s in it. ..what it is. Now I’m going to stop them
completely and I’m going to wean
myself off the sunbeds. I think listening
to your story has made me want to go and get one
mole in particular checked. I’ve got a mole on my leg what’s
appeared, and it’s raised and I’ve just been putting it off and just burying my head
in the sand, really, thinking…
Just go and get it checked. It could be nothing.
This is what I say to everyone. It could be nothing.
Get it removed. Ask for a second opinion
if you’re not sure. Yeah. It’s better to be safe than
sorry. Exactly. It’s your life. I just wish that someone had
maybe said this to me back then. Thank you so much for coming today. Oh, you’re welcome. I know it must have been hard,
but, yeah, you’ve made an impact on my life now and you’ve changed my
tanning habits.


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