Over the last few years, I’ve had several conversations with people of color regarding sun exposure and the damage it can cause if one is not cognizant of the amount of time spent in direct sunlight. What I’ve come to realize is a very dangerous myth amongst some of my friends of color, which prompted me to write this blog. Ready for it? Some believe being a person of color gives them a pass on having to wear sun protection. Crazy in this day and age, right?
Here’s the deal…
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the melanin (gives skin its color) of a darker skinned person can have a natural SPF of about 13.4 compared to 3.4 in lighter skin. So yes, the darker your skin color the less likely it is for you to develop skin cancer, however, it is still a real possibility. Why? Because no one is immune!
Where the danger comes in…
Experiencing sun burn has become a “normal” part of many of our lives. We complain about it, grab a little aloe, dab it on, and get on with our lives. Many of us don’t consider the ramifications of burning, which, over time, increases our probability of developing skin cancer. Hate to sound like a Debbie downer, but it is my job to give you all the real deal!
We’ve all heard of Bob Marley and his untimely death at the age of 36. Unfortunately, Mr. Marley died due to a an aggressive form of skin cancer (melanoma) that began under his toe nail. Bizarre, huh? Well…it isn’t uncommon in the Black population. According to Dr. Susan C. Taylor, M.D. in a 2010 interview with Essence Magazine, melanoma often occurs in unusual places in Blacks: soles, palms, toenails, finger nails and on the mucosa of the genitals and mouth.
Is it hitting home yet? Skin cancer can attack anywhere, and the mortality rate is disproportionately higher when it comes to the Black population in our country, especially Black women due to late stage diagnosis.
What you need to know and look out for…
The pictures below are of actual melanoma (skin cancer).
Pictures above are NOT of SKinfatuated's clients. Please click on photo for the original source.
What you need to know...
Ladies and gents, please be safe this summer. Like many of you, I love hitting the beaches of NYC and Long Island. Shoot, I live on the beach. No. Seriously. I live a few hundred feet from the boardwalk. My favorite time of year is summer and I am outdoors as much as my schedule allows. Here's the thing...I literally apply SPF everywhere! My moisturizer, Christian Dior foundation and body lotion all contain varying levels of SPF. My philosophy is to takes risks where they make sense; trying a new restaurant or buying a shade of lipstick you never thought you'd wear. With your health? Nah! Do as much as you can to remain healthy for as long as possible.
Wishing you all great health and lots of love!