THE BLOG

Sun, Sex and Holiday Regrets

27/08/2014 13:23 BST | Updated 27/10/2014 09:59 GMT

Holidays are usually a time to kick back, relax and forget your worries, while you relax on the beach and get a much needed break from work. But being totally carefree can sometimes have less than sunny consequences - particularly when it comes to your health.

From heat exhaustion and dehydration to alcohol related injuries and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), the risks Brits fall prey to while abroad can result in consequences that you may regret.

In a poll of more than 2000 British adults, nearly one in ten said they'd done something they regretted whilst on holiday, which they admitted could have been damaging to their health or reputation.

The perils of the sun

According to the survey, commissioned this summer by our Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service, sunburn was unsurprisingly one of the things most people had suffered - with nearly half of those questioned caught out by it.

Some may think of red tinged skin as a normal part of their summer holiday, but the effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays can be serious.

Despite usually healing within a week, blistered or peeling skin can cause significant discomfort. Perhaps more worrying though, are the lasting effects of UV damage, which can result in premature skin aging and could increase the likelihood of developing skin cancer.

Going to excess

A holiday in the sun can mean a week or two of excesses - particularly for the young. Many admitted they ate nothing but junk food, smoked more than usual and consumed excessive amounts of alcohol.

Of course, it isn't a massive shock that people 'let their hair down' a bit, but the health risks could be a worry. For some, the party atmosphere and reduced inhibitions can lead to them doing things they wouldn't dream of back in the UK.

Holiday STI

The survey showed that hot weather isn't the only thing to catch people off guard. Unprotected sex can be an issue, with some putting themselves at risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Remarkably, 45 per cent wouldn't necessarily get checked if they had casual sex without using a condom - particularly if they didn't have any symptoms.

In fact, many of the most common STIs, such as chlamydia, can very often show no symptoms, so it's not always going to be obvious if you've picked something up. If you're no longer in touch with the person you contracted it from, they won't be able to alert you to it either.

It's fairly easy to get checked out though - by visiting a local GP or GUM clinic, or using a home testing kit.

Regret-free journey home

The media has been awash with stories about the antics of Brits abroad of late - from sex exploits, to drug fuelled fights. There have also been stark warnings about the damaging effects of the sun.

But as we near the end of the summer holiday season, I hope that most of you travelling home will have enjoyed a happy, regret-free escape from our not-so-summery weather. Sometimes sun, sea and sand can be just what the doctor ordered.