It’s official: 2020 is the year of the staycation with new research finding that over three quarters of Brit’s holidays will be taken within the UK.

With travel rules changing constantly, and with August recording one of the hottest days for 17 years, sun seekers have flocked to the coast.

What’s more, with temperatures rise again, even more breaks are planned from Brits keen to enjoy the summer.

But, while the warmer weather has been good news for holiday-makers, a leading cancer expert is calling on people to stay safe, as 57% of Brits admit they don’t protect their skin as well when holidaying in the UK.

  • Over three-quarters of Brits going on holiday this year doing so in the UK
  • 57% are better at protecting themselves from the sun when on holiday abroad
  • Almost a third (32%) aren’t confident at identifying the symptoms of skin cancer

Dr Timothy Crook, Consultant Oncologist at Bupa Cromwell Hospital said, “Whether holidaying in the UK or abroad it is incredibly important that we take the correct precautions to look after our skin.

“The sun in the UK is just as strong as it is abroad, in fact it can be strong enough to cause skin damage from the start of April to the end of September. So even if it is cloudy or not as warm as the sun abroad, it doesn’t mean you don’t need take precautions.”

Commissioned by Bupa Cromwell Hospital, the study of 2,000 people, found that when holidaying in the UK just over a third of Brits wear suncream every day and reapply regularly throughout the day, compared to 63% abroad.

Dr Crook continues, “It’s vital that you prevent your skin from getting burnt, and this means applying suncream at least 30 minutes before you go outside and reapplying every two hours, or before if you go swimming.

“As well as wearing suncream, you can protect your skin by wearing long sleeved clothing, a sun hat, protecting your eyes by wearing sunglasses and trying to keep out of direct sunlight during the hours when the sun is the strongest – usually between 11am and 3pm.

“It’s useful to know where your skin is on the Fitzpatrick scale, as it can influence how much protection you need to take in the sun. If your skin is ‘type 1’ (pale) and the UV index in your area is above three, you’ll need to ensure your skin is protected or it’ll burn. You can find out the UV index where you are on the Met Office website.”

The sun gives out powerful ultraviolet (UV) radiation which can increase your risk of getting skin cancer. More than nine out of 10 cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, are linked to overexposure to UV rays.

But when it comes to skin cancer, almost a third of Brits aren’t confident at identifying the symptoms with almost one in 20 saying they wouldn’t visit a doctor if they noticed any changes to a mole.

The research follows Cancer Research UK’s new figures which shows a 150% surge in skin cancer deaths since the 1970s.

Dr Timothy Crook said “As with all cancers, if caught early enough skin cancer is easily treated and survival rates are high. Knowing the signs and symptoms of skin cancer is imperative, especially if you work outside or spend long periods of time in the sun.

“If you notice any unusual changes to your skin, whether this is a change to a mole or a new mole then you must get it checked by your doctor who’ll be able to treat it.”

In the UK, around 16,200 people are diagnosed each year with melanoma, making it the fifth most common cancer in the UK.

For more information

Please contact Laura Tompkins at laura.tompkins@bupa.com or call 07595461287

About Bupa Cromwell Hospital

Bupa Cromwell Hospital was established in 1981 and acquired by Bupa, leading international healthcare group, in March 2008. It is a leading London hospital renowned for being the first to invest in some of the UK’s leading-edge equipment and cancer services.

Based in West London, the hospital has over 500 accredited consultants, mainly drawn from London’s teaching hospitals, covering over 70 specialties. It is recognised as a centre of excellence for oncology, cardiology, paediatrics, orthopaedics, lung, complex surgery and medicine. Bupa Cromwell Hospital’s diagnostics service offers the very latest technology.

Outpatient services include private GPs, health screening and family medicine services.

The hospital has 120 beds and boasts a large and loyal UK and international clientele, admitting self-pay, embassy sponsored patients and those funded by medical insurance.

Bupa Cromwell Hospital constantly strives to provide a first-class service to its patients through the use of state-of-the-art technology, innovative diagnostics and a continuous investment programme.