Monday, August 14, 2017

Darker skin color & sun protection

There are certain characteristics to dark skin that keep it from receiving severe sun damage. However, if you have a darker skin tone, you’ll want to heed the same warnings as those with lighter skin.

Dark brown or black skin genetically produces large amounts of melanin, giving you a dark skin tone. Because melanin is produced to protect the body from UV radiation, it makes sense that descendants of people from areas near the equator will have darker skin. Genetically you are blessed with nature’s own sunblock.

It’s also true that dark skin tends to age better than lighter skin because of this extra melanin production. But it is not true that dark-skinned people don’t need to use the same common sense protection from the sun as light-skinned people.

If you have dark skin, please don’t think you will escape the ravages of the sun. You are perhaps even more susceptible than lighter-skinned people. Why? Because you feel armed against the sun due to your skin tone. Therefore you may forgo wearing sunscreen and a hat.

Dark skin is better protected than light skin, but you are in no way fully protected from sun damage. No one really escapes damage from the sun. Dark, light, black, white, young, or old—everyone needs to wear sun protection.

Wearing sunscreen and hats apply to all people—no matter what.