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Doctors taking risks over use of sunbeds

SOME doctors are ignoring their own advice and indulging in risky sun-seeking behaviours like the use of sunbeds, experts have said.

As many as one in 10 ­British physicians admit to using sunbeds, a small poll found.

Many do not check their skin as often as recommended and others say that they sunbathe or tan themselves.

The British Association of Dermatologists said the figures show that many doctors are putting themselves at increased risk of skin cancer.

The survey of 163 doctors, to be presented at the World Congress on Cancers of the Skin in Edinburgh, found that a third demonstrated sun-seeking behaviours such as sunbathing or tanning.

Only one in three had performed a skin examination on themselves in the last 12 months, despite recommendations from BAD to check skin monthly.

Female doctors were more likely to protect themselves by wearing hats or applying suncream but, despite their caution, were more likely than male physicians to have burned in the last year.

The researchers, from Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said sun safety advice should be distributed more widely to medical professionals.

Dr Jingyuan Xu, from the Sandwell NHS trust, in the West Midlands, said: "The attitudes and behaviours of doctors don't just impact on their own wellbeing, but can have an influence on how these messages are relayed to patients.

"It's very important people are aware that ultraviolet radiation from the sun increases the risk of skin cancer, and that they understand the benefits of enjoying the sun safely."

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