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Holidaymakers urged to take care in the sun

10 February 2016 08:48

Holidaymakers should be splashing out on sun cream

Holidaymakers should be splashing out on sun cream

Many holidaymakers head off abroad each year with just one thing in mind - to soak up as much sun as possible so they can come home with a tan to show off.

But a new report published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is warning travellers that there is no healthy or safe way to get a suntan.

The report says a tan gives people scant protection against further exposure to sunlight, suggesting that many holidaymakers need to be taking extra care when they are visiting foreign destinations.

NICE says adults need to be putting on around 35ml of sun cream - the equivalent to between six and eight teaspoons - each time they apply it.

And their check-list of holiday essentials should include plenty of sun lotion with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 alongside their travel insurance policy, passport and foreign currency.

The advice acknowledges that holidaymakers should be exposing their legs and arms to sunlight for short periods of time in order to benefit from the vitamin D it provides.

The report says people cannot get sufficient vitamin D from sunlight in the UK between October and March or by sitting next to a shut window with sunlight pouring through it.

But the NICE report adds that the vitamin D benefits provided by the sun during the summer months and in warmer climates need to be balanced against the skin cancer risk it poses.

When it comes to holidaymakers protecting themselves from the sun, NICE says they need to avoid applying sun cream too thinly.

And it says while using a high-factor sunscreen can offer people better protection, it does not always mean they can spend longer in the sun without getting burnt.

Holidaymakers should remember to frequently reapply their sun cream, especially when they come out of the swimming pool or sea, even if their sunscreen is a water-resistant one.

And, NICE adds, if they are likely to be out in the sun long enough to risk getting burnt, holidaymakers should apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and then again when they actually go outside.