14 May 2014

The NHF welcomes this recommendation by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin. It would be a sensible move, bringing England into line with what is already in place in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and is, if anything, overdue.

“The Sunbed (Regulation) Act 2010 has, since 2011, made it illegal for under-18s to use sunbeds but, clearly, unmanned tanning salons can offer a potential loophole. For the vast majority of reputable salons this would be a common-sense and positive change.

“More widely, just last month [April], the charity Cancer Research UK warned that rates of malignant melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer – are now five times higher in the UK than they were in the 1970s.

“Hairdressers, of course, are not doctors, but the fact we see people close-up on a regular basis means we are well-placed to spot potential warning signs of skin cancer, often in places clients cannot easily see themselves.

“As we head into the summer months I urge salons to be proactive in having these conversations with clients if they see anything unusual on someone’s skin. It may be nothing to worry about, but encouraging them to get it checked out with their GP could save their life.”