More than a third of Britons now head abroad each winter to seek the sunshine. With travelling times becoming shorter and trips abroad to exotic places more affordable, it is important to remember your health, as the health risks in these places are still very real.
We all love a bargain and booking a holiday at the last minute can sometimes save you a few hundred pounds however this can lead to difficulties organising the correct vaccinations and medications for your trip. It is important to remember, some vaccines are given in several doses. Ideally, you should always check which vaccinations you will need and how long they will take to arrange before you travel. As a general rule, allow 6-8 weeks to arrange the vaccinations you will need. This allows for the possibility of requiring several doses or boosters.
It is also important to know that many countries in Africa and South America require a certificate verifying that you have been vaccinated against Yellow Fever before you can enter. Many Asian countries will also require a certificate stating that you’ve been vaccinated against Yellow Fever if you are arriving from a country with a high risk. Here at Dorset Private GP we have authorisation to provide this certificate.
The ABCD of malaria is a useful tool to take precautions against Malaria when travelling. A is for Awareness of risk – find out whether you’re at risk of getting malaria. B for Bite prevention – avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent, covering your arms and legs, and using a mosquito net. C for Check whether you need to take anti-malarial tablets – if you do, make sure you take the right anti-malarial tablets at the right dose, and finish the course. D for Diagnosis – seek immediate medical advice if you have malaria symptoms, including up to a year after you return from travelling.
It is important to note that for certain anti-malarial medications you may need to take them before your travel to be sure of full protection. At Dorset Private GP we can recommend the most appropriate medication for the area you are travelling and can issue a prescription.
Protect your skin
The main reason most of us will be taking a holiday abroad this winter is to catch some sun. But after months of British cloud and rain, exposing pale skin to intense sunshine can cause sun burn which is one of the main causes of skin cancer. It is advisable to only go in the sun for a few hours for the first few days of your holiday and to avoid the lunchtime sun rays. It can be tempting to go on a sunbed to prepare your skin for your holiday but you are simply exposing your skin to harmful and damaging rays so this is not advisable. Make sure you take the right sun creams away with you, check the expiry date and remember that no sunscreen provides 100% protection so always use with a broad brimmed hat, sunglasses, covering clothing and shade.
If you are heading off for some winter sun then contact Dorset Private GP to help keep your health safe while you are away. We are here for you if you even if you don’t live in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch and whether for travel vaccinations or simple GP advice.