Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Shiny happy people?

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 20 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2048

Primary Care Dermatology Society recommendation on Sun Bed use

The doubts about the harm due to sun bed exposure have now been
by clinical research and the PCDS is now convinced by the evidence that a
proportion of avoidable melanoma deaths are due to sun bed use. It is well

established that UV damage to the skin of children and teenagers increases

the risk of melanoma more than exposure in adulthood.

We do not wish or seek to prevent informed adults from all risk
behaviour, but as with alcohol, tobacco and gambling, society has a
responsibility to protect vulnerable young people. The PCDS therefore adds

our support to calls for a ban on sun bed use for under 18s and
cash or card operated tanning machines. We suggest a minimal degree of
suitable health advice, perhaps in the form of a leaflet advising on the
and early signs of skin cancer, for adults choosing to indulge in
or cosmetic UV light.

In the light of the skin cancer epidemic, we call on the government
introduce a short bill, or an administrative amendment to existing health
safety legislation, to achieve these limited and reasonable measures.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 November 2009
Stephen Kownacki
Executive Chair PCDS and GP
The trustees and committee of the Primary Care Dermatology Society (PCDS)
Primary Care Dermatology Society 2nd Floor Titan Court 3 Bishop Square Hatfield AL10 9NA