Model shares gruesome pictures to show why people shouldn't use sunbeds
Throughout history, people have been doing all sorts of weird and risky stuff in attempts to keep themselves looking young and beautiful. From lead-based makeup to dangerously invasive surgery, our ongoing struggles to stave off signs of aging frequently venture into dangerous territories.
Thankfully, a lot of the more detrimental practices have either been banned, or come with strict age limitations. But that doesn't necessarily stop them from harming people.
Ella Ravenscroft, a model from Salford in the UK, recently shared some pictures of herself in order to demonstrate the damage that tanning beds can have on a person's body - and her experience is acting as a stark warning to others who frequently use UV lights to top up their tans.
In a post on Facebook, the 20-year-old model imparted some good advice about tanning beds and excessive exposure to harmful radiation:
"Girls / boys this is why it’s really important NOT to use the sunbeds , I had 2 tiny moles on my tummy that have grown due to using sunbeds!" she wrote. "Never thought this would happen as I didn’t realise it was possible but they’ve now had to be replaced by scars."
She went on:
"Just want to make people more aware how dangerous they are as you don’t think something as little as a mole could cause skin cancer, I’ve had 2 removed on my tummy , one on my back and one just below my boob. If your moles feel itchy or grow make sure to get them checked out! Better to be safe than sorry."
Along with the message, she shared two pictures of fresh surgical wounds, one on her abdomen, and another on her ribs.
When she was first told by her doctor that her moles needed to be removed to prevent them developing into potentially cancerous growths, Ravenscroft was distraught.
"I cried; I wasn't scared about having them removed, but I was terrified of being left with scars," she said. "I'd just signed for the agency so I was really upset in case it affected anything."
However, she acknowledged that her health was far more important than her career - especially as she is at such a young age.
"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."
The model, who also works as an eyebrow technician, credits her mother for spotting the irregular deformity of the moles, and says that she had never paid them much notice until they were pointed out to her.
"[The moles] 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 said. "She wanted me to get them checked out, but I didn't think it was anything to worry about, so I left it."
Fortunately, though, Ravenscroft had a lingering worry about the moles.
"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."
Since she has shared the post, other people have commented to say that they will pay closer attention to any moles or blemishes on their own skin.