Shocking new data has come to light suggesting that skin cancer rates have tripled since 1990, despite all advances in modern medicine and the world’s advanced state of health education. According to recent studies carried out in the US, much of the explosion in skin cancer diagnoses is attributed to younger travellers – many of whom are knowingly flaunting the advice and warnings of experts.
Here in the UK, health groups are once again renewing calls for vigilance among those intent on chasing a little winter sun to break from the doom and gloom of the Great British winter. There’s a rather dangerous habit shared by many UK winter travellers which involves making the most of every possible minute in the sun by trying to absorb the highest possible dose of rays before returning home. But while it can be tempting to really drink in the rays of the sun during a brief escape, the damage done can be irreversible, experts warn.
The Annual Winter Exodus
This is the time of year during which millions begin planning their late-autumn or mid-winter escapes to warmer climes. From Cyprus to the Canary Islands to Greece to Croatia and so many more, there are plenty of places blessed with gorgeous 20-30C temperatures while the UK and much of Europe is under ice. As such, it’s understandable that to arrive in such a place is to fall into the trap of stripping naked, not bothering with the suncream and basically allowing yourself to fry.
After all, you want to make sure that tan lasts until the spring, ideally.
Sadly though this can represent the kind of hideous punishment to the skin’s health and is a known trigger for potentially fatal skin cancer. When the skin has been denied the rays of the sun due to the winter weather or by covering up for weeks or months on end, the then go and blast it with red-hot rays in a warmer country can be quite disastrous. And just for the record, it doesn’t make it any better if you spend a week or two prior to going away on the sunbeds to prepare your skin – these can be and often are more dangerous than the sun itself.
Which is why national health authorities are once again putting out a simple yet crucially important warning – cream up and cover up if you’re planning on chasing the winter sun. Just a little common sense and proactivity are all that’s needed to stay safe in the sun, but it’s important to acknowledge that the rules of safe sun exposure don’t only apply in the summer.