A model, 20, who used sunbeds twice a week for two years is covered in scars after going under the knife to have potentially-cancerous moles removed.
Ella Ravenscroft, from Irlam, Salford, has scars on her abdomen after seeking treatment when her mother pointed out her blemishes had grown.
Although Ms Ravenscroft, who is also an eyebrow technician, was initially more concerned about how the scars may impact her modelling career than her health, she has since ditched tanning beds for good.
She said: ‘Never again, it’s not worth it. It doesn’t matter how pale I am, it’s fake tan all the way.’
Ms Ravenscroft, who was crowned Miss Teen Galaxy England in 2016, is speaking out to raise awareness of the dangers of skin cancer.
Ella Ravenscroft, who used sunbeds twice a week for two years, is left covered in scars after going under the knife to have potentially-cancerous moles removed
Ms Ravenscroft, who is also an eyebrow technician, has several scars on her abdomen after seeking treatment when her mother pointed out her blemishes had grown
She was more worried about how the scars may impact her modelling career than her health
‘It doesn’t matter how pale I am’
Determined to raise awareness of the dangers of sunbeds, Ms Ravenscroft shared a photo on Facebook showing her body before and after her moles were removed.
The post read: ‘You don’t think something as little as a mole could cause skin cancer.
‘If your moles feel itchy or grow make sure to get them checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry.’
Ms Ravenscroft adds her sunbed days are long behind her, saying: ‘Never again, it’s not worth it. It doesn’t matter how pale I am, it’s fake tan all the way.’
She shared a photo on Facebook showing her body before and after her moles were removed
She has since ditched tanning beds for good and says it does not matter how pale she is
Ms Ravenscroft says she is covered in moles, which never used to bother her
ARE SUNBEDS SAFE?
Sunbeds give out UV light that increases people’s risk of developing skin cancer.
Many sunbeds give out greater UV ray doses than the midday tropical sun.
Tans protect the body from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.
A tan from a tanning bed is no safer than one from the sun and may even be more dangerous if:
- UV rays are stronger
- People use them for longer
- People use them frequently
- Users have fair skin or hair
- Users are over 50
Past studies suggest people who are frequently exposed to UV rays before 25 are more likely to develop skin cancer in later life.
Sunburn in childhood also increases the risk.
According to The Sunbeds Regulation Act 2010, it is illegal for people under 18 to use them in the UK.
A similar law is being proposed in the US.
Signs of skin damage are not always obvious for up to 20 years but usually start with a mole that has changed colour or appearance, which may later scab or bleed.
UV rays can also damage people’s eyes, leading to irritation, conjunctivitis or cataracts.
Source: NHS Choices
‘It hit me how dangerous sunbeds were’
Describing being told by her doctor the moles had to be removed, Ms Ravenscroft said: ‘I cried; I wasn’t scared about having them removed, but I was terrified of being left with scars.
‘I’d just signed for the agency so I was really upset in case it affected anything.
‘But I realised if I didn’t have them taken off I could end up with skin cancer.
‘It hit me then how dangerous sunbeds were.’
Twelve minutes under tanning beds twice a week
Ms Ravenscroft, who would spend around 12 minutes at a time under UV lights, was first alerted to her unusual moles by her mother.
She said: ‘I’m covered in moles and I had two really tiny ones on my tummy, below my belly button.
‘They never really bothered me, but a few weeks ago I got out of the shower and my mum said she was concerned because they looked a lot bigger than usual.
‘She wanted me to get them checked out, but I didn’t think it was anything to worry about, so I left it.
‘But it stuck in my mind and I found myself looking online at changes to moles and what it could mean.
‘I was looking through the photos and saw one that looked just like mine. That’s what made me go to the GP.’
Ms Ravenscroft is speaking out to raise awareness of the dangers of skin cancer and sunbeds
She adds tanning beds are not worth it and people should get any unusual moles checked over