An woman became “addicted” to sunbeds because she thought they would help to clear her eczema – then was diagnosed with skin cancer.
Daniella Bolton, 24, attempted to prevent flare-ups of the skin condition by using creams, but they never had long-lasting effects.
So from the age of 18, she slathered on tan accelerator twice a week and sat under UV lights at the salon.
Daniella, from Edinburgh, said: “I used to get really bad eczema on my arms and legs. Over the years I’d tried every cream and lotion from the doctors.
“Nothing was really working and if it did work it would only work for a short while and then it would flare up again and it just wouldn’t go away.
“It was really itchy and embarrassing.”
Daniella continued: “When I turned 18 I thought about trying sunbeds after reading about it [UV light helped eczema] online.
“Obviously by doing that I would get a nice tan as well, which I was quite happy about, so I just kept going.”
After two years of tanning regularly, a retail assistant spotted a mole on Daniella’s back as she tried on clothes at River Island.
The Scottish lass called her nana Linda Bolton, 65, to go with her to see the GP.
She was then referred to skin specialist’s who removed the mole and conducted a biopsy.
A few weeks later, Daniella was given the news that the mole was cancerous and she had melanoma.
She said: “Just after my 20th birthday this mole appeared near the top of my back beside my left shoulder blade.
“It wasn’t very big at all, it was a deep brown colour and was a wee bit raised.
“I only noticed it when I was in the River Island changing rooms trying on a dress. I turned and glanced in the mirror and that’s when I spotted it.
“I don’t have any spots, moles or freckles on my back so it was quite obvious to me.
“As soon as I saw it I remember thinking ‘what’s this?’ I was with my nana at the time and I got her to have a look at it too.
“When it didn’t go away I thought I needed to go to the doctor and get it checked out.”
Daniella added: “They weren’t 100% sure and referred me to a dermatologist.
“They did a biopsy on it and a few weeks later I got the results, it was very upsetting.
“I spoke to my nana about it and I just kept saying to her ‘am i going to die? Am I going to be ok?’ It was so worrying.
“I’d never heard of anyone my age having it, I just started questioning everything. I was so worried.”
The young woman feared the cancer would be fatal – but thankfully an operation at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian, was successful and the growths hadn’t spread.
She said: “I genuinely felt it was the best day of my life when the results came back clear, I burst into tears of happiness because it was such a relief.”
Now, Daniella never goes on sunbeds and is urging others to do the same.
She added: “Sunbeds are now a thing of the past, I don’t go anymore.
“I don’t want to ever go through that again, it was so horrible.
“I’m definitely a reformed sunbed addict. Now if I want a nice tan I’ll use fake tan. Going on sunbeds isn’t worth the risk.”