Can one case of severe sunburn give you cancer?

Doctors are warning sunbathers about the dangers of getting burnt, but just how dangerous is sunburn?

Dr Robert Graham is a Consultant Dermatologist.

Can one case of severe sunburn give you cancer?

Dr Graham said: "Well it possibly could. A severe episode of sunburn might be linked with a melanoma later on in life, but probably more likely would be repeated episodes of sunburn rather than just one episode."

Melanoma kills around 1,750 people in England every year. Credit: Anthony Devlin / PA Archive

Does a tan protect your skin against cancer?

Dr Graham said: "A tan stops you burning, but it doesn't protect you per se against a skin malignancy. If you burn with a tan, then it's just that you're slightly less likely to burn when you're well tanned compared with when you're fresh out of your clothes in the spring with a very pale skin."

What damage can the sun cause your skin?

Dr Graham said: "The sun does cause damage, some of it's hidden, some of it you can actually see. "I think the main thing is that sun exposure acute can increase the incidents of certain types of skin cancer by burning and obviously the skin goes red when it's been burnt and that increases perhaps the risk of melanoma skin cancer which is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer."

People on the beach during the warm weather in Brighton Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Can exposure to the sun cause wrinkles?

Dr Graham said: "Chronic sun damage constitutes a risk to non melanoma skin cancer and then it's the cumulative sun damage and you get solar elastosis which essentially you'd realise as wrinkles."You may get tanning from the affects of chronic sun damage and eventually people will start to get little scaly patches in the skin sometimes known as actinical solar keratosis."