NEW research has revealed nearly half of people in Scotland think sunscreen is too expensive with many deciding not to use it at all due to the price.

Wearing sunscreen is one of the most effective ways to protect against melanoma, a deadly but largely preventable form of skin cancer.

But the survey by charity Melanoma Focus found 46% of Scots regard it as too costly and 13% don’t use it at all because of the price. 

The research found that 35% of Scottish adults rarely or never use sunscreen in the UK (for a variety of reasons, including a wish to tan) but 63% of all respondents would use it more if it was 20% cheaper. 

More encouragingly, most people in the UK are putting sunscreen on their children (87% of those surveyed with children reported doing so in the summer in the UK).

But of those who don’t regularly put sunscreen on their children, 12% say it’s because it’s too expensive.

Melanoma Focus is calling on the Government to remove the Value Added Tax (VAT) for high-factor sunscreens to reduce the cost of this vital product for the general population, making it more accessible to those who cannot afford it. 

Susanna Daniels, CEO of Melanoma Focus said: “Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and the deadliest form of skin cancer – 86% of melanomas are preventable and therefore wearing a high SPF sunscreen is a hugely important safety measure for protecting against it. 

“We know that people are experiencing increasing pressures on their finances at the moment but, with skin cancer rates on the rise, the use of sunscreen should be a high priority. The government could help make skin protection more accessible to all, by removing VAT from high-factor sunscreens. This would be a cost-effective way to cut the overall incidence of skin cancer and could help save lives.”