Most of us turn to Google when we have a question, some of us even turn to the search engine when we’re in a crisis. Not our household, not our friends, not even the authorities – Google! For many, it’s a way to save embarrassing conversations, gain a solution in rapid time or settle any worries.

A stiff upper lip, extreme worry, fears of doctors, dentists or medical professionals can all be reasons for people Googling how to remedy their ailments. But thousands of people up and down the country do exactly that. Before consulting their local medical professional, they will turn to the extensive knowledge of ‘Dr Google’ for the answer.

It’s likely the COVID-19 pandemic will have increased this method of diagnosis and solution for many. With a reluctance to call the emergency services through fear of wasting their time in such a busy period, Dr Google may have had its work cut out.

With this in mind, we wanted to see which areas of the UK are most likely to turn to Dr Google in a time of crisis and which areas are taking the role of doctor into their own hands? The research will also reveal the places that are most clumsy and those that aren’t so much.

To find out, we compiled the UK’s 100 most searched for terms into Dr Google that started with the phrase ‘how to treat’.

The top 10 in order of most searched are below, with the full 100 at the end of this post.

Search Term Average Monthly Search Volume
how to treat a burn 8,100
how to treat sunburn 2,900
how to treat a wasp sting 2,900
how to treat blisters 2,400
how to treat a mouth ulcer 2,400
how to treat a boil 1,900
how to treat cold sores 1,900
how to treat hemorrhoids 1,600
how to treat a uti 1,600
how to treat a burn blister 1,600

We then took all 100 search terms and looked at the average monthly search volume for the full set in every UK city against the population of every location. We could then establish the areas searching for this sample of phrases the most per 10,000 people – finding those turning to Dr Google the most.

Location Avg monthly searches per 10,000 people
Lancaster 214.2
Shrewsbury 140.8
Guildford 140.5
Chester 112.7
Bath 107.6
Worcester 99.4
Bedford 95.4
Basingstoke 93.8
Chelmsford 90.6
Lincoln 87.9
Cheltenham 86.7
Exeter 86.6
Colchester 83.7
Watford 80.3
Brighton 73.4
Bolton 72.9
Middlesbrough 71.5
Gloucester 67.3
York 66.4

Looking at the data, we can see that Lancaster ranks in at the top of the table as the city turning to Dr Google the most, closely followed by Shrewsbury and Guildford.

From the sample of 100 phrases, the data suggests these cities are most likely to try and solve an ailment themselves before turning to a medical professional. However, it could also imply that the people of Lancaster are also more prone to an accident than anywhere else.

While consulting Dr Google may be an option to avoid awkward conversations or save time on getting an answer, the advice could also prove to be factually incorrect and cause a lot of worry.

You should always consult a medical professional if you are worried about anything concerned with your health. There are also lots of alternatives available when it comes to being prepared for injury, like signing up to a first aid course to become qualified and receive a first aid certificate.

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