FORMER Hollyoaks star Andy Newton-Lee has spoken out over the dangers of excessive use of sunbeds as it was revealed he is battling skin cancer.
The 24-year-old, who left the teenage soap last year, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma on his legs in August.
He has had two operations to remove the cancerous cells, and is now anxiously waiting to hear whether he has been given the all-clear.
Mr Newton-Lee, who played Robbie Flynn in the Channel 4 series, said: "I noticed something small on my leg last Christmas and it started to get bigger and bigger and at first I thought it wasn't harmful, but people kept saying I should get it checked out.
"I thought it wouldn't be anything, and at first they said there was nothing wrong, but I went for a second opinion. I remember their faces when they came in to tell me the result and I thought, 'this is bad'."
Mr Newton-Lee said he had used sunbeds on an irregular basis for the past eight years, and blamed it on the pressure of having to look good when in the public eye.
He continued: "I felt pressurised as a young person to promote a healthy and glowing image when I was on screen. It was purely my own decision to go on these sunbeds, but I didn't fully understand the risks of doing so.
"My doctor told me it was very rare to see two melanomas in someone of my age. I am more or less 100% sure it was down to the use of sunbeds, as there is no history of cancer in my family.
"My message to young people would be not to use sunbeds, or if you do, use them in moderation. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you or anybody else." Mr Newton-Lee, who is originally from Hull and has been living in Los Angeles for the past seven months, has had five procedures, including two operations to remove cancerous cells from his legs.