The Sun - The dangerous Effects of using Sunbeds

The Sun - 3 August 2010WAG Jessica Lawlor discovered the areas worse effected by the sun were her cheeks and forehead and admits she wasn't as vigilant in her teens as she is now. Hollyoaks actress Gemma Merna is now proud of her porcelain skin but understands how many young girls put their health at risk for a bronzed look - just like she did as an impressionable teen.Jessica, girlfriend of Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland and mum to their son Jacob says “I was nervous about the scan but you have to see if there is anything you can do to repair the damage or minimise the risk. “I was shocked when I saw the damage. It really made me think about how pointless having a tan is in the great scheme of things. My cheeks and forehead were the worst affected. I thought I had got into a good routine with my skincare in the last few years but I imagine most of this damage was done when I was a teen. Now I use a foundation with an SPF15 which I thought was enough – but if I don’t increase it to at least a 30 SPF I will see my skin age quicker. “I’ve always been careful with my baby and use total block whenever he is exposed to the sun. For years I’ve been using fake tan if I’m wearing a revealing outfit and want to look tanned. The irony is everyone says how much healthier you look with a tan when in fact the damage can be fatal – we really need to challenge this misconception. Prevention is better than cure and I wish I’d known more about how to protect your skin from the sun” VERDICT: Laura Marshal, of Harley Medical, Manchester, said “Jessica has little sun damage but it will get worse if she doesn’t start protecting herself properly now. She needs a factor 30 on every day – no lower no higher. Creams over 30 tend to have a lot of chemicals in them which can increase the risk of skin allergies. Incorporating this into her daily routing and having treatments such as the Obagi Nu-derm System will increase cell renewal and treat pigmentation caused by sun damage”.   Gemma says “I’m really careful about looking after my skin and use a factor 30 every day. The Visia is really thorough and seeing is believing when it comes to the effects of the sun on your skin. I’m happy with my results. I dread to think what the results would have been if I’d have had my skin analysed a few years ago. “I bowed to peer pressure when I was just 15 and fried my skin under the sunbeds to be brown like my darker mates. Having a tan was seen as normal and as a teen you just want to fit in. We would all go red and the receptionists in the shops would tell us not to worry as we would go brown. I stopped using sunbeds when I was 18. I finally accepted myself for who I was – I had pale skin and the way to look my best was to look after what I had, not try and change myself into someone else. “Now I embrace my pale skin. I’m proud of it. If I want to look a bit brown I’ll have a fake tan”. VERDICT: Lesley Ainsworth, of Harley Medical, Liverpool, says: “Gemma has some sun damage that I suspect was caused while she was using a sunbed. However, because she has used sun block for the past few years she has managed to keep her skin in good condition. It’s important to remember you can so a lot to help your skin recover from sun damage. The result proves that. The most important thing is to use at least a factor 30 every day, reapplying if you are outside. To give skin an extra boost, try an antioxidant cream with vitamin C. This will speed up skin rejuvenation and get rid of dull, dead  skin cells quicker”.