A FORMER tanning salon manager is warning about the risks of skin cancer after she contracted the deadly disease.
Laura Creane, who formerly ran Tan Fast in Warwick, had used sunbeds since she was a teenager to develop a tan.
But when she visited a local dermatologist for a facial they began discussing risks the sun posed to the skin. Following this Laura – who was 24 years-old at the time – decided to see her doctor who gave her a clean bill of health.
But just two weeks later and following a summer holiday to Turkey, she had to return to her GP when a mole on her stomach turned black and began to itch.
What followed was a blur of hospital appointments and an emergency operation to remove the mole – which doctors said was cancerous.
Laura had to undergo months of difficult treatment for skin cancer and luckily the now 31 year-old has been given the all clear.
Despite this she still has to undergo regular painful procedures to have moles removed.
With summer just around the corner, Laura is warning others to think twice before using a sunbed or stepping into the sun without protection.
The sales administrator told the Observer: “People should be wearing sunscreen, especially when they are in the sun. I use SPF in moisturisers, put a thick layer on my face and neck and even have SPF in my shampoo and conditioner.
“Just because you can’t see the immediate damage from the sun doesn’t mean none is being done. People should just be sensible, these things can affect your health years later in some cases.
“Most importantly always check moles and seek medical advice if they change or start to hurt.”
Laura – who now wears fake tan instead of sitting in the sun – also says local tanning shops should do more to educate customers.
The keen fund-raiser for the British Skin Foundation added: “I have never seen a poster in a salon explaining safety information or how the sunbeds can harm you.
“I saw an advertisement in a local tanning shop the other day which said ‘Get your dose of vitamin D’, which I found really shocking.
“Salon users need to know the dangers and understand that a lot of salons promote sunbeds for completely false health benefits in a bid to get clients to use them.”