Woman 'addicted to tanning' reveals damage caused by using sunbeds every day for 15 years
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News & Media
A woman who admits to having used tanning beds on an almost daily basis for 15 years has opened up on her horrific diagnosis with skin cancer.
Belfast-girl Fionnghuala Maguire was obsessed with the look of sun-kissed skin and began lying under ultraviolet lights aged just 14.
And since then, the tanning addict, now 35, has used the beds almost every single day, seven days a week, in order to keep on top of her bronzed skin.
"Back then there wasn't so much of an age limit," Fionnghuala told press.
"I would go quite naturally dark and having a tan gave me a lot of confidence. If I was going out on Saturday night or going on holiday, I would use it everyday to get the best tan."
She added that, even during the winter months, she'd use the controversial beds 'two or three times a week'.
"I've probably used a sun bed thousands of times in my life. It was an addiction, there's no doubt about that."
Despite her own mother having previously suffered skin cancer, Fionnghuala simply couldn't resist her high-maintenance tanning protocol and refused to take note of her mum's petitions for her to stop.
"My mum was diagnosed with skin cancer and had to have a couple of tumours removed and used to tell me to stop using the sun beds but you don't listen, you think you're invincible."
And on top of her lengthy sessions under blue lights, she admits she failed to apply SPF for protection, allowing the harsh rays to penetrate deep into her skin.
In fact, after failing to apply SPF during her sessions, the receptionist was left fighting for her life on two separate occasions.
Back in 2020, Fionnghuala discovered an unexpected mole growing on her right leg.
Given her mother's medical history, doctors sought to remove the mole instantly.
Upon investigating her skin further, however, medics went on to diagnose the mother-of-one with stage-one melanoma, and were forced to cut another huge segment of her skin away.
Another growth was also confirmed as cancerous three months later, after which Fionnghuala - who has a 10-year-old son - underwent immunotherapy.
Heart-stopping images show the young mum's face littered with red blotches caused by the cancer treatment.
During this treatment, however, her adrenal glands failed and she developed Addison's disease, which led to another emergency hospital admission.
"A day of two from death," the terrified tanner explained. "Straight away I was pumped with a hydrocortisone steroid and within that night I felt like a completely different person.
"A doctor told me that if there'd been another day or two of my cortisone levels being that low, I would've gone into a coma and passed away."
Since her life-threatening health scare, doctors have removed a further five moles from Fionnghuala's body - including from her breast, arm, leg and back.
Forced now to see a dermatologist every three months for full body checks, she's using her horrific experience to warn others against the risks of tanning.
"I'm just living in fear of the next mole coming now," she confessed. "There's a high probability that the skin cancer could come back at every point.
"I could give myself a slap for using sun beds, a tan was not worth this. I'm now pale white. I don't look like myself, it was all down to wanting tanned skin that you can literally buy from a bottle."
Fionnghuala admits she's furious with herself over her lack of consideration when under the UV lights.
"Twice I've been on my deathbed and my son could've been left without a mummy. It's not just my life this has affected, it's my whole family's lives."
She went on: "Having a tan is not worth what could potentially happen. You are taking your life into your own hands. I'm still scared that wanting a tan might kill me eventually."