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Heatwave in the UK and What It Means for Skin Health

Heatwave in the UK and What It Means for Skin Health

Heatwave-in-the-UK-and-What-It-Means-for-Skin-Health

At an average of 9.62 °C in 2020, the UK is known for having moderate to cold temperatures throughout the year, with summer temperatures being quite mild. However, in recent events, from the 13th of June, many UK cities are reaching temperatures of 26-28°C, which is a heatwave that for many can lead to sunburn.

Let’s see what this really means for the UK.

How Does the Sun Affect Skin?

Now, with the many benefits that stem from sunlight exposure, there are, of course, repercussions and downsides to being exposed too long, especially with sunburn.

To put it in simple terms, exposure to UVR light can go one of two ways: being exposed to the rays but not sunburnt leads to decreased risk of melanoma, while being sunburnt increases the risk of melanoma. Those most at risk for being sunburnt are people with Type I to III Fitzpatrick skin phototypes, types of really pale skin and a high risk of getting burnt, with the difference being that the first doesn’t tan at all, while the other two do.

British people are prone to skin disease, and many with the aforementioned skin types are already getting sunburnt, given the recent temperature rise. Some have even taken to Twitter to question whether it’s just them or the weather is really that warm under the hashtag #ukheatwave.

UK Cities During the Heatwave: Which Are Affected More?

Given that the heatwave started around Saturday, June 12, many cities have already experienced temperatures up to 28°C. However, which cities will continue to be affected most through Wednesday, June 16th?

Here are a few of the hottest and coldest UK cities at this time.

Disclaimer: The temperature data is taken from the Weather Channel and refers to the highest temperature of the day.

Best cities to be in during the heatwave

Here are the cities which will not be affected by the heatwave and will stay relatively low in temperatures from June 14th to June 16th.

#CityMondayTuesdayWednesday
1Lerwick (Shetland Islands)13°C10°C14°C
2Portree13°C12°C13°C
3Kirkwall (Orkney Islands)13°C12°C15°C
4Stornoway14°C12°C14°C
5Oban13°C14°C14°C
6Fort William13°C14°C14°C
7Pitlochry14°C15°C17°C
8Fraserburgh16°C13°C17°C
9Holyhead16°C16°C14°C
10St Davids16°C16°C15°C
11Londonderry14°C17°C16°C
12Fauldhouse15°C16°C16°C
13Aberdeen19°C13°C17°C
14Dumbarton16°C17°C16°C
15Inverness16°C17°C17°C
16Bangor16°C19°C15°C
17Coatbridge15°C18°C17°C
18Glasgow15°C18°C17°C
19Omagh15°C19°C16°C
20Stirling16°C17°C17°C
21St Andrews17°C16°C18°C
22Dunfermline17°C17°C17°C
23Hugh Town17°C17°C17°C
24Falkirk16°C18°C18°C
25Penrith17°C19°C16°C
26Carlisle16°C20°C16°C
27Kendal17°C19°C16°C
28Lisburn15°C20°C17°C
29Armagh15°C20°C17°C
30Dundee17°C17°C19°C
31Berwick-upon-Tweed17°C18°C18°C
32Edinburgh17°C18°C18°C
33Alnwick17°C17°C20°C
34Blackpool17°C20°C17°C
35Hexham16°C20°C18°C
36Kelso17°C19°C18°C
37Lancaster17°C20°C17°C
38Penzance18°C18°C18°C
39Perth18°C18°C18°C
40Thornton-Cleveleys17°C20°C17°C
41Belfast16°C20°C18°C
42Craigavon16°C21°C17°C
43Aberystwyth17°C20°C18°C
44Colwyn Bay17°C20°C18°C
45Morpeth17°C19°C20°C
46Sunderland17°C18°C21°C
47Bridlington21°C16°C20°C
48Hartlepool17°C18°C22°C
49Bideford18°C19°C20°C
50Prestwick16°C20°C21°C

Worst cities to be in during the heatwave

Below we’ll be listing the warmest cities from June 14th through June 16th, depending on the average temperature on these three days when the heatwave is supposed to continue.

#CityMondayTuesdayWednesday
1Greenwich Borough28°C26°C29°C
2London28°C26°C29°C
3Epsom29°C26°C28°C
4Enfield28°C25°C29°C
5Uxbridge28°C25°C29°C
6Croydon28°C25°C29°C
7Slough28°C25°C28°C
8Bromley28°C25°C28°C
9Guildford28°C25°C28°C
10Loughton28°C24°C29°C
11Watford28°C25°C28°C
12Hatfield28°C24°C28°C
13Hitchin28°C24°C28°C
14Reading27°C25°C28°C
15Uckfield29°C24°C27°C
16Wokingham27°C25°C28°C
17Caversham27°C25°C28°C
18Chatham29°C22°C28°C
19Bracknell28°C24°C27°C
20Crawley27°C25°C27°C
21Haywards Heath28°C24°C27°C
22Luton26°C25°C28°C
23Maidstone28°C23°C28°C
24Stevenage27°C24°C28°C
25Winchester27°C25°C27°C
26Brentwood27°C23°C28°C
27Chelmsford27°C23°C28°C
28Faversham28°C22°C28°C
29Horsham27°C24°C27°C
30Romsey27°C25°C26°C
31Bedford27°C23°C28°C
32High Wycombe27°C24°C27°C
33Huntingdon28°C23°C27°C
34Gillingham28°C22°C28°C
35Basildon28°C22°C27°C
36Cambridge26°C23°C28°C
37Canterbury27°C22°C28°C
38Ely27°C23°C27°C
39Oxford26°C24°C27°C
40Salisbury26°C25°C26°C
41Southampton27°C24°C26°C
42Chesham26°C24°C27°C
43Peterborough26°C23°C28°C
44Bicester25°C24°C27°C
45Blandford Forum27°C24°C25°C
46Aylesbury26°C23°C27°C
47Milton Keynes26°C23°C27°C
48Wellingborough26°C23°C27°C
49Canvey Island28°C21°C26°C
50Southend-on-Sea28°C21°C26°C

Precautions UK Citizens Can Take to Avoid Sunburn During this Time

Although sunburns are not always incredibly risky, and most will settle down on their own, in some cases, sunburn can lead to blistering, massive fluid loss, and hospitalization. Even without all that, sunburns can be uncomfortable to deal with.

So, in order to avoid sunburn in light of the ongoing heatwave in the UK, here are a few tips.

Apply sunblock

Of the most prevalent techniques to avoid sunburn is applying a kind of sunblock. Sunblocks should always have an SPF of 30 or more and make sure to apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure. Additionally, sunblock needs refreshing, approximately every 90 minutes, and after contact with water. Paired with sunblock, it’s always recommended to wear sun-protective clothing as well.

Keep in mind that exposure to UV lights can lead to visible skin ageing in the form of wrinkles/texture, lack of firmness of cutaneous tissues (ptosis), vascular disorders, and pigmentation heterogeneities.

Avoid going out while taking certain medications

There are certain medications that increase the risk of sunburn, and if you are taking any of them, it would be best to avoid going in direct sunlight. These medications include tetracyclines (especially doxycycline), sulfonamides, thiazide diuretics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, fluoroquinolones, retinoids, and St. John’s wort, among other photosensitizing medications.

Avoid going out between 10 AM and 4 PM

Between 10 AM and 4 PM is when sun rays tend to be strongest and cloud coverage is lower, which is why it’s advisable to not go under direct sunlight during this time of the day. However, if you absolutely have to, make sure that sunblock is applied, you’re wearing appropriate clothing, and protecting your face’s sensitive skin.

Methodology

We gathered data on the highest temperatures across all UK cities on June 14th, June 15th, and June 16th, during which the heatwave is believed to continue. We then extracted the average temperature during these three days to determine which cities will be most at risk and which the least.

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