As the heat picks up in the summer months of June, July and August, it can be a challenging time for our skin; pollen counts, pollution and UV exposure are at their highest and our skin’s immunity is at its lowest.
Recent research by Transform Hospital Group has looked at the best and worst UK locations for our skin this summer, as most brits are turning to staycations for another summer. It is important to look after our skin in the summer elements and in some cases, this may mean avoiding some areas of the UK.
Where is hay fever at its worst in the UK?
Hay fever sufferers dread the summer months, as pollen count increases across the UK. Pollen allergies cause itchy, inflamed, and uncomfortable skin. Green spaces are the main cause as grass, weed and nettle pollen thrive.
London and the South-East are most likely to cause problems for those with pollen allergies, as they have particular plants that produce high amounts of pollen. Whereas coastal locations rarely have pollen-rich plants, and a constant sea breeze helps ensure you are breathing fresh air that is largely pollen free.
The North of England for those with may be the best place to visit this summer to avoid allergic reactions, with North-West England and Yorkshire having the lowest pollen counts in the UK.
“Many of us will be having staycations in the UK this summer so it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with this and to choose the location wisely.”
UV Rays can cause damage – even in the UK!
UV rays are present all year round, but it is during the summer months where the UV exposure is at its most damaging. Even after five minutes if SPF protection is not applied, exposure can cause skin damage such as burns, premature aging and in the worst-case scenario, skin cancer.
Especially on hot days, it is vital that we protect our skin wear SPF and for those who are more prone to suffering from UV exposure, experts have advised to wear long sleeves and trousers on the hottest days.
Yorkshire cities Bradford, Sheffield, and Leeds all rank in the top 10 cities in the UK for UV ray exposure. Although these cities are at the greatest risk of UV exposure, it is important that we protect our skin all across the UK from UV rays in the British summer.
Pollution causes more harm to our skin in the summer months
Pollution is a large contributor to skin, eye, nose and throat irritation and even more so in the summer months when the sunshine and heat combine to create a more ground level ozone pollution (pollutants get stuck at ground level, so are more likely to cover the skin).
Pollution gets trapped in between buildings, so coastal areas are the best locations to avoid pollution although it doesn’t mean you will be able to avoid it altogether. However, for cities this means they are more likely to be impacted by pollutants and it is no surprise that locations in London are top of the most polluted locations in the UK. According to IQAir’s recent pollution data Kensington, Feltham and Hayes all fall in the top five polluted areas in the UK.
Our skin needs to be looked at no matter what location you visit in the UK but those who suffer worse than others from pollen allergies, UV exposure or pollution may want to think which locations they visit this summer!