This site is intended for health professionals only

Tourists "ignore sunburn warnings"

Many holidaymakers are ignoring warnings about skin cancer and still burning themselves after soaking up too much sun, a new report claims.

Cancer Research UK surveyed around 400 sunbathers who said they are susceptible to being burnt, and found 90% are aware of the dangers but carry on regardless.

And even more worryingly, 40% of tanning fanatics believe that getting sunburnt is all part of the tanning process.

Professor Lesley Rhodes, a Cancer Research UK dermatologist, said: "Getting sunburnt increases the risk of skin cancer in general.

"But the kind of sunbathing binges that happen when people go to much hotter climates and bake on the beach are particularly dangerous.

"This kind of short intense exposure to the sun, leading to burning, particularly increases the risk of malignant melanoma. And each year in Britain almost 2,000 people die from this form of skin cancer."

Cancer Research UK's SunSmart campaign manager Rebecca Russell also warned that sunbed sessions aimed at getting a base tan before travelling can be just as dangerous as getting sunburnt.

She added: "Holidaymakers can enjoy the sun safely by making sure they do not burn, spending time in the shade, covering up with loose long-sleeved clothing, a hat and sunglasses and using factor 15-plus sunscreen."

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Cancer Research UK

Take part in our three minute visitors' survey for the chance to win £25 worth of M&S vouchers!