A sunbed addict who spends £245 a month on tanning claims he is 'proof' that UV rays are not harmful.

Mike Smith, 36, has been tanning for 17 years, starting at the age of 19, even though doctors advise against it.

He used to spend 36 minutes each day in double sessions at different salons, one for 20 minutes and the other for 16 minutes.

Now the personal trainer pays £85 for unlimited sunbed access at a salon as well as forking out £160 a month on self-injected melatonin jabs.

In total Mike, from Brighton, East Sussex, spends £245 on his tanning.

Mike thinks his tanned skin has enhanced his love life and claims it has helped him bed more than 100 women.

The British Association of Dermatologists advises that people should not use sunbeds or sunlamps.

He started tanning at the age of 19

Sunbeds and lamps can be more dangerous than natural sunlight because they use a concentrated source of UV radiation, it says.

Health risks linked to sunbeds and other UV tanning equipment include skin cancer, premature skin ageing, sunburnt skin and eye irritation.

Mike told the Sun : “I can’t live with pale skin, it’s not attractive. I don’t feel good.

Doctors advise against tanning

“I don’t judge people who are pale — some can’t help it or don’t mind it.

“But I love being dark. Women love it — I always get compliments on my tan and my body.”

The NHS says: "Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer. Sunburn does not just happen on holiday.

But Mike says he can't like with pale skin
Mike says he gets compliments

"You can burn in the UK, even when it's cloudy.

"There's no safe or healthy way to get a tan. A tan does not protect your skin from the sun's harmful effects."

It's illegal for people under the age of 18 to use sunbeds, including in tanning salons, beauty salons, leisure centres, gyms and hotels.