Those of us who are Caucasian may not realize that black people DO tan. But until recently, even scientists didn’t realize that they are even MORE LIKELY to die from skin cancer than the rest of us. The melanin that makes their skin dark does not protect them. Researcher Hugh Gloster says, “There’s a perception that people with darker skin don’t have to worry about skin cancer, but that’s not true.”
But according to Gloster, it IS true that the extra pigment in darker skin does give more protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays. The darker the skin, the less likely a person is to get a sunburn. However, BBC news reports that although skin cancer is not as common among black people, when they do get it, it is likely to be a more aggressive form. And because blacks don’t go to the doctor as often, it is often not diagnosed as soon. If skin cancer is diagnosed early, it is rarely fatal.
Very dark skin has a natural SPF of about 13. However, doctors advise us to use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Many dermatologist advise wearing a 30 SPF sunscreen every day.
A superior sunscreen that we reported two years ago was illegal in the US can now be sold in this country. It’s obvious that blacks should be using it, as well as lighter-skinned whites.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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