They are as deadly as asbestos and can increase the risk of skin cancer by almost 90%.
But household cots are totally legal in the UK – and horribly, you can get one for just £ 199 online.
And while most of us curl up to watch Corrie at night, hundreds of women across the UK are slipping into these cancer bombs for a "10-minute vacation" – without knowing the dangers.
The use of sunbeds before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of cancer, 87% and every year 16,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in the UK.
Household beds are easy to rent or buy online, but a law passed in 2010 means that it is illegal to allow anyone under the age of 18 to use them.
Speaking in the ambit of the Fabulous Dying for a Tan campaign, three women here say they almost lost their lives after using the cribs at home.
"I suffocated in Coca Cola to erode my skin"
When the tanned model was called Beverley Dodds was invited to promote a sunbed brand in her first 20 years, she was electrified and even opted for a bed at home instead of paying for work.
But 30 years later, after spending hundreds of hours cooking on it, his once-scarred legs are now full of scars from skin cancer operations – and he claims "looks like a patchwork quilt".
Beverley, who is now 56, has spent up to TWO HOURS at a time on the couch, three or four times a week – and is now fighting a potentially fatal cancer.
BEVERLY DICE: "When I was young, cots were promoted in health clubs and people were talking about" a healthy tan, "he says." But in reality they are the most unhealthy thing you can use.
"They have the shape of a coffin and, as far as I'm concerned, it could also be a coffin because it's dangerous."
As a teenager, I was so obsessed with the tan that I even suffocated in a mixture of baby oil and Coca-Cola – which erodes the skin barrier and speeds up the tan – when I lay in the sun.
It was the age of Farrah Fawcett and everyone wanted to look like her: white teeth, wavy hair and a tan.
So when I was asked to promote a sunbed brand and was offered a £ 150 crib instead of my £ 80 fee, I didn't hesitate.
It was a kind of canopy that you put on the bed – and my sister and I used it for 20 minutes at a time, several times a week.
There would always be a blue light from my bedroom and I still remember that my father kept talking about the electricity bills.
I used so much that I was a dark, teak color that, looking back, is not a nice look. But the tan were generally considered "healthy", so we had no idea about the risks.
The only warning on the couch was that it had to be six inches from your face.
& # 39; I'm always in agony and it hurts to walk & # 39;
Then, when I was 33, I started getting really itchy spots, like small pin pricks, on my shins and my doctor thought it was eczema.
It was only when I saw an Australian doctor, who knew more about skin cancer, that I was referred for a biopsy and was diagnosed with Bowen's disease – a pre-melanoma form of skin cancer that forms carcinoma squamous cell (SCC).
These small lumps can range from a sign of the size of a sting to a grapefruit-sized tumor in a very short time – and it spreads rapidly throughout the body.
If left untreated, it can spread to the lymph nodes and cause death.
"I thought I would die"
Hearing the word cancer was horrendous. My first thought was "I'm going to die".
I spent ten days in the hospital with injuries that suddenly exploded everywhere I removed from my legs.
But that was not the end – the lumps and bumps continued to appear – and in the next few years I did three other invasive and painful operations to remove the SCC from my legs and the soles of my feet.
In 2005, I had to remove more lesions and then a skin graft on my leg to replace the pieces they needed to cut.
They removed my skin from my thigh and inserted it into my leg wounds like a patchwork quilt.
Since then I have had hundreds of treatments.
Every six months my dermatologist freezes all the imperfections of which he is not sure and I must use an acid-based cream to face any suspicious points.
I also use the MiiSkin app to examine everything that emerges.
& # 39; I look 30 years older than I should & # 39;
After fighting cancer for over 20 years, I am still in agony and it hurts to walk.
As I get older it gets worse and the constant treatments eliminate all the elasticity from the skin so that it doesn't heal more quickly.
My dermatologist says I have the skin of an 85-year-old woman and the scars on my legs are terrible.
My legs have always been my best feature and now I have to cover them because I'm so embarrassed and I can never wear a dress.
If I could talk to my younger self, I'd say wear a fake tan if you really want to be brown but don't worry about how you look. Being healthy is more important than any tan.
If I hadn't gone to the loungers, I would have had perfect skin and never suffered all this pain. "
& # 39; I thought I lost my leg due to cancer after cooking myself as a chicken roaster & # 39;
Susanna Hancock, 50, is a business woman who lives in Sale, Manchester
SUSANNA DICE: "As someone who grew up over the years & # 39; 80 and & # 39; 90, being" safe "was not a thing.
It was a generation of madness: our motto was "burn first, then you will become really brown".
At age 23, I became addicted to the tan and between the holidays, I rented a cot for £ 50 a month and kept it in my spare bedroom.
For seven years I used it twice a day, sometimes spending more than an hour cooking away while listening to the Top 40.
I was like a chicken in a rotisserie, turning regularly to get that uniform glow.
"Can kill you"
In 2017 I noticed a mole on my right calf that didn't look right: it had turned pink and started to get bigger.
The doctor told me that I had nothing to worry about and a consultant dermatologist also told me that it was fine.
Six months later, I asked my doctor again to take a look at the mole because the color and shape had changed.
He ran his finger over it and said there was nothing to worry about.
I did check a few more times, but I was just told to keep it eye on.
But when my daughter Tegan, 16, found a mole she was worried about, I looked for an app that we could use to keep track of it.
I discovered SkinVision, which allows anyone concerned about spots or blemishes to take a picture that the app analyzes in 30 seconds.
I triggered my mole in my leg and was shocked when he immediately returned with a "high risk" evaluation, suggesting to see my doctor.
He saved my life.
Die for a tan
There are about 7,000 tanning salons in the UK, with some offering sessions as low as 50 p per minute.
Children aged 8 and younger use cribs, with apparently little understanding that they are playing Russian roulette with their health.
According to Cancer Research UK, the risk of melanoma skin cancer is 16-25% higher in people who used a bed (at any age) than people who never used cots.
This is because sunbeds tan the skin with such strong UV rays that they increase the risk of developing malignant melanoma – the most severe form of skin cancer.
Only 20 minutes on one is comparable to four hours in the sun – with many stronger than the Mediterranean rays at noon.
In many cases the damage is invisible until it is too late, as it can take up to 20 years to manifest.
Every year, around 16,000 new cases of melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK, or 44 per day.
Every year there are about 2,300 deaths from melanoma skin cancer, or more than six every day.
It is part of the reason why the World Health Organization has deemed cots as dangerous as smoking.
That's why Fabulous says it's time to stop dying from the tan.
This time I was sent to the hospital and was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of localized skin cancer caused by UV damage.
I was terrified – I was worried that the doctors would cut my leg.
Luckily it hadn't spread, so I just needed a simple operation to delete it, but that's the chance I'll have it again.
When I tell people that I had a cancerous mole, they ask me "Have you removed it?" – Not yet seen as a dangerous cancer.
But the damage can kill you and people have to understand it. SUCH AS?
I urge people not to touch the sunbeds at all.
By using them you are aging your skin and, worse still, putting yourself at risk of premature death. "
"My bed at home gave me nose cancer"
Sandi Ayres, 44, is an air hostess from Cheltenham.
SANDI DICE: "I was a very pale teenager and at 19, when I was working as a nanny in Cheltenham, I decided that I needed some color, so I splashed £ 90 on a second-hand bed.
It was a canopy model that went on the bed and there were no indications of how long you should use it, so I started three times a week.
First I did 30 minutes each on my back and front and then 30 minutes on my hips, so I would have been down there for two hours each time.
To increase the tan, I also used a store-bought accelerator that was supposed to make your melanin react more quickly.
"The use of a cot is my biggest regret"
Sometimes I even used baby oil on my legs – so I was literally cooking it down there.
In the photos of the era, I was really a beautiful golden brown and I must admit that I was satisfied with the results.
When the dangers of skin cancer became better known, I stopped using the bed and started using the fake tan.
Then, in 2011, I was going to a wedding and I thought "I go to a cot as I used to do".
I worked on trains and often went to pause in Birmingham where there was a sunbed shop just outside the station, so I started going there a couple of times a week.
A couple of weeks after the wedding, I noticed a strange lump on my nose.
My doctor assured me that it was just a point, so I left and stuck a needle in it, trying to make it burst, even though it wasn't a head.
Two months later it was a pearly white spot, half the size of a Smartie, and when I took off my makeup at night it really hit me.
I started searching online and came across a girl of my same age, of the same hair and skin color, who had written a blog about her skin cancer.
Symptoms of non-melanoma tumors
The first sign of non-melanoma skin cancer is usually the appearance of a nodule or discolored spot on the skin that continues to persist after a few weeks and progresses slowly for months or sometimes years.
There are two common types of non-melanoma:
Basal cell carcinoma (represents 75% of skin cancers):
- it usually appears as a small shiny pink or pearly white lump with a waxy appearance
- it can also look like a red, scaly patch
- sometimes there is brown or black pigment inside the patch
- the nodule becomes slowly larger and can become crunchy, bleed or develop into a painless ulcer
Squamous cell carcinoma (represents the other 20%):
- appears as a solid pink nodule with a rough or encrusted surface
- it can have many surface dimensions and sometimes even a pointed horn protruding from the surface
- the nodule is often tender to the touch, it bleeds easily and can develop in an ulcer
His photos convinced me that I had the same thing, but a second doctor told me that there was nothing to worry about.
This time I wasn't taking the no for an answer and I threatened to become private and to accuse the practice if it turned out that I was right, so they agreed to send me to a dermatologist for a biopsy.
A week later, I was told that I had a basal carcinoma, which starts under the skin and goes towards the outside. I needed two operations: one to remove the carcinoma and one to rebuild my nose.
They took a piece of leather the size of a 50 p piece from my nose and rebuilt it with skin on my forehead.
They put me together like a puzzle. I was very lucky to have a good surgeon.
I still have scars but, in my regular checks after the operation, I was given everything clear, so I'm very lucky.
These days I wear the factor 50 everywhere and I'm very careful. I really regret having used a cot and if I knew now what I knew I would never have used it. "