Frequently Asked Questions

You are being invited to take part in a research study. Before you decide, it is important to understand why the  research is being done and what it will involve. Please read the following information carefully. Please feel free to ask if anything is not clear or if you would like more information and time to discuss it with others.

The purpose of the study is to explore the idea that differences in skin types may be
responsible for the way the skin reacts to environmental factors such as intense UV
exposure. These differences can also affect how the skin reacts to skin treatments.


This is a follow up study which aims to quantify the level of skin damage in volunteers with Fitzpatrick skin types 1 and 2 (fair hair and skin and likely to burn) before and after exposure to high intensity UVR during a summer/winter holiday or use of an artificial tanning bed. Damage will be assessed at 2 distinct sites, the nose which is always exposed to UV and the inner arm which is rarely exposed.

We will take skin swabs from 2 distinct locations of the body before and after UVR exposure to compare damage caused by UVR. We will ask all participants to fill in a questionnaire about their sun protection habits following UVR exposure. This will allow us to compare the results of different individuals based on their UVR exposure.

Your participation in this study is voluntary. If you do agree to take part, you will be given this information sheet and be asked to sign a consent form. We are happy to answer any questions you may have before you decide. Once you have agreed to take part you are still free to change your mind and withdraw at any time and without giving any reason. If you withdraw from the study any information already gathered from you will either be kept securely and confidentially or destroyed if you wish.

Skin swabs
Skin swabs will be collected both before and after exposure to high intensity UVR. This is a painless technique which consists of cleaning the area with an ethanol wipe and then rubbing the cotton swab 30 times on the bridge of the nose and inner arm. Each of these samples will then be stored in a sterile collection tube until extraction. This procedure has been tested in the past, it is commonly used in research and is not considered by any previous participants a cause of pain or discomfort.



You will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire at the end of the study about:

  • Time spent in the sun
  • Sun protection behaviours on a day-to-day basis
  • Sun protection behaviours on holiday
  • Skin sensitivity

The questionnaire should take approximately 15 minutes to fill out..


You will contribute to the identification of the factors involved in skin aging and how
different skin types relate to it. This will provide insight into the development of novel skincare products, known as ‘personalised skincare’.

None of the parts of this study imposes any kind of danger, the study is considered safe, and there is little or no chance of anything happening to you. In the highly unlikely event that you would be harmed by taking part in this research there are no special compensation arrangements. If you are harmed due to someone’s negligence, you may have grounds for legal action, but you may have to pay for it.

Yes. All information that is collected about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. The identification information that you give us is separated from your answers to the questionnaires. Any information about you that leaves the research unit will have any potential identifiers (e.g. name/post code) removed so that you cannot be recognised.

Results obtained in this study will be published in medical and academic journals, and presented at academic conferences. Data will only be published in anonymous form; it will never be possible to identify individual participants. The findings of this study will help the development of a subsequent bigger study to test a range of different skin types and their damage. 

The study is based at Newcastle University. It is being funded by IIP ERDF Funding and Hexis Lab.

The study has been reviewed by Newcastle Universities Ethics Committee.

If you are happy to take part in this research, please sign consent form and return it to the researcher on the day/via email.