Some of you think that just because you have darker skin, you have a natural protection against skin-cancer. Well, no. Just use sunscreen: skin cancer is blind to skin color. And for some, there are even more dangerous types of skin cancer which appear almost exclusively in dark skinned individuals.
It is true: as a colored person, one may have a slight advantage due to the melanin which is far more present in dark skin, offering protection against some of the damages caused by the sun to the skin. But don’t be fooled, you’re not out of the danger zone yet!
Scientists from the Skin Cancer Foundation have revealed that for dark skinned persons, the melanin in their skin offers the protection of a SPF 13.4 sunscreen. For white skin, that number drops to 3.4. Of course, this is the reason behind the increased chance of developing melanoma in whites.
One of the most famous deaths due to melanoma in dark skinned people is that of Bob Marley, the famous reggae singer. Before the official diagnoses, Marley though that he had injured his toenail while playing soccer. Much to his surprise it was much more serious than that. It was a form a skin cancer which affects almost exclusively people of color – acral letiginous melanoma, or ALM. And it’s not only common with African Americans, but also in Asian peoples, Hispanics and Pacific islanders.
The fatality of this type of melanoma comes from the fact that many people of color choose to ignore it due to preconceived notion that they cannot possibly have skin cancer. Until it is too late, that is.
So, what is there to do to protect yourself from the damaging effects of the sun, no matter what color skin you have?
First of all, you should really wear sunscreen. And don’t be cheap when buying it. SPF 15 is okay, especially for colored people, but you can never be overly cautious when skin cancer is involved. We suggest you buy the SPF 30 sunscreen, as this one covers a broad spectrum of UV lights. It’s the full proof method.
Also, you should remember to not go in the burning sun between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. And take cover from the rays in spots where there is a lot of shade.
You might think that suntan is just your skin getting a bit fried. It is not. Your skin cells produce extra melanoma to protect you from the sun. And then when you get a sunburn, they actually die so as to not give you cancer. So, will you be going to buy sunscreen now?
Image source: mirror.co.uk