Katie Edwards contacted us to tell the shocking story of how using sun beds had left her with 'panda eyes'.

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Using a sunbed has left me with permanent 'panda eyes'


She looks to have enjoyed a skiing holiday or worn swimming goggles at the beach.

In fact, the truth behind Katie Edwards's 'panda eyes' is more sinister.

Miss Edwards, 22, has suffered permanent skin damage from using a sunbed.

Panda eyes: Katie Edwards suffered permanent skin damage around her eyes after using a sunbed

Panda eyes: Katie Edwards suffered permanent skin damage around her eyes after using a sunbed

Rings of skin around her eyes have prematurely aged, leaving her flesh discoloured and raw-looking. A large patch at the front of her neck is also paler than the rest of her body.

Frighteningly, the changes appeared to happen overnight.

Miss Edwards, a mother of two from Runcorn in Cheshire, spent three nine minute sessions under a sunbed each week for nearly seven years - never using the recommended eye protection.

But now she has quit using sunbeds and is warning others to do the same.

Miss Edwards, a full-time mother to her children Lewis, five, and Chloe, three, said: 'Although I've never worn eye protection, I controlled my sunbed use carefully and thought I was being responsible.

'Then two months ago I climbed out of my stepdad's sunbed, looked in the mirror and saw these horrible marks around my eyes.

'My neck started with lines of pale skin and then it spread to form one big patch.

'I've had tests and am relieved the damage isn't skin cancer but it has changed my life. I won't leave the house without piling on makeup and wearing my reading glasses, and I've lost my self confidence.

'It got so bad that my GP has prescribed anti-depressants.'

Miss Edwards said medical experts had told her the damage was irreversible.

She added: 'My message to anyone using or considering sunbeds is: don't. Wear fake tan instead - just don't put yourself through this.'

Kathy Banks, of the Sunbed Association, said: 'Using a sunbed three times a week continuously over a prolonged period is over-use and frankly quite stupid.

'Anyone using sunbeds on a regular basis really must use protective goggles.'

Professor John Hawk, a dermatologist specialising in the effects of sun on skin, said the damage to Miss Edwards's skin resembles a condition called vitiligo.

The disorder, which occurs when cells responsible for skin pigmentation die or stop working, usually appears spontaneously but is made more likely by damage to the skin, including burning from sunbeds.

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