The use of sunbeds increases a person's risk of developing melanoma by 20%, a new study has found.

Researchers from the International Prevention Research Institute in France and Italy's European Institute of Oncology in Italy have also found that teenagers who use sunbeds face an 87 percent higher risk of developing skin cancer than those who do not.

The researchers, who published their report in the British Medical Journal, based their findings on analysis of 27 separate studies on skin cancer and sunbed use, detailing 11,428 cases of skin cancer between 1981 and 2012 in the UK, France and Germany.

Based on the results of the studies, the researchers conclude that almost 3,500 cases of malignant melanoma across Europe each year can now be attributed to sunbeds and tanning salons - over 5 percent of all cases.

Furthermore, the study's authors conclude that almost 800 deaths a year are caused by tanning facilities.

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that usually starts in the skin as a mole. The cancer is quite common in women, particularly young women aged between 15 and 34. In women the most common place for melanoma is the legs; in men it is the chest and the back, according to a report.

Researchers believe that the only way to prevent skin cancer is by taking steps such as restricting tanning for those under the age of 18, and banning unsupervised tanning salons. In the US, California has already introduced such a ban.

Earlier studies underestimated the risk of indoor tanning booths because such machines were relatively new, but now researchers have discovered the extent of the risk they pose.

"Melanoma and other skin cancers associated with sunbed use can be prevented by avoiding exposure to indoor tanning devices. The sunbed industry has not shown an ability to 'self-regulate effectively' but instead gives information intended to deceive consumers," the authors of the study said.