Fake tan craze promoted by Love Island is 'fuelling rise in skin cancer – with tanorexics' putting vanity before health'
But it's not down to the fake stuff itself.
Rather, 'tanorexics' are more likely to take risks putting their vanity before their health, a new study suggests.
Shows like Love Island could fuel a surge in tumours, promoting the idea that tanned bodies are more attractive, experts said.
People who love to use fake tan are four times more likely to use cancer-causing sunbeds, and are less likely to cover-up outside in the sun.
They are also less likely to seek shade on hot days and more likely to have been recently sunburned.
The University of Minnesota boffins analysed data on more than 27,000 adults, of which 6.4 per cent used fake tan.
Those who got their colour from a bottle were more likely to be a woman, a healthy weight and have a family history of cancer.
Study leader Dr Matthew Mansh said: “For the most part, adults who use sunless tanning products continue to engage in risky tanning behaviours.
“Most evidence supports that sunless tanning products are safe to use and do not cause skin cancer.
“However, these products can only be effective at reducing skin cancer rates if they are able to help people disengage in risky behaviours, such as indoor tanning or outdoor sunbathing.
“Our study casts doubt on whether that assumption is true and suggests that sunless tanning products could inadvertently reinforce desires to achieve tanned skin.”
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Dr Bav Shergill, from the British Association of Dermatologists, said: “The fashion for a tan is something that is deeply embedded within our culture.
“The examples set on social media, TV programmes, such as Love Island, and by many celebrities, mean that it’s very hard for people to get away from the idea that tans are the norm.
“Although people tend to be pretty well educated on the risks of excessive sun exposure it has not necessarily translated into safer behaviour.
“The important message that people need to take home is that artificial tanning products should be used instead of actual tans, not in addition to them.”
Around 15,400 people are diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in the UK each year, with rates expected to rise by 7 per cent by 2035.
The findings are published in the journal JAMA Dermatology.
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