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A model who visited a tanning salon twice a week had to have potentially-dangerous moles removed from her stomach.

Ella Ravenscroft regularly used sunbeds for two years, spending up to 12 minutes at a time under ultraviolet lights. The 20-year-old is now warning of the dangers of skin cancer after surgery to remove the moles on her stomach left her with scars.

She declared: ‘Never again, it’s not worth it. It doesn’t matter how pale I am, it’s fake tan all the way.’

Ravenscroft warned: ‘You don’t think something as little as a mole could cause skin cancer.

‘If your moles feel itchy or grow make sure to get them checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry.’ The former beauty queen, who also works as an eyebrow technician, underwent surgery after the moles changed shape and colour. She had two cut out of her stomach, before going back to hospital to remove two more weeks later.

Having just signed for a modelling agency, she was left in tears after being told the surgery would leave her scarred Ravenscroft, from Irlam, Greater Manchester, said: ‘But 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.’

Studies show that using a sunbed can increase the risk of melanoma, a serious and aggressive form of skin cancer, by 16 to 20 %. The disease proves fatal for around a fifth of those diagnosed.

While most moles are benign, any changes in colour, shape or texture could be an early sign of melanoma. The British Medical Association has urged against using sunbeds for cosmetic reasons, while charity Cancer Research UK has said there is ‘no such thing as a safe tan’.