It’s still common for African Americans to believe that they don’t need sunscreen as much as other ethnicities. However, while the melanin in Black skin has some protective elements, it’s not enough to keep your skin from being damaged by the sun’s radiation. With the temperatures ticking up, it’s important to know how to protect your skin this summer. sunburn
How The Sun Affects Black Skin
The melanin in Black skin has been shown to offer some protection from the sun, but it’s far from enough. Without additional help, your skin can still burn if you’ve been in the sun for a while.
It’s not as easy to detect sunburn on darker skin with the naked eye, but there are a few signs to look out for. Your skin may feel hot to the touch, itchy, painful, or irritated. Over time, you might also see some stripping as the skin heals.
Some effects you might not see immediately include sagging, hyperpigmentation, and loss of volume in certain areas of the face. With hyperpigmentation, you can get dark spots in specific areas that have varying sizes. These dark spots can be particularly problematic because of how difficult it can be to effectively treat them in Black skin.
Finally, persistent sun damage may significantly increase your risk of developing skin cancer. While people with darker skin are less likely to have skin cancer than those with lighter skin, it’s still a threat.
Statistics show that 1 in 100,000 African Americans gets diagnosed with skin cancer annually. When you consider that it’s more common for Black people to be diagnosed at the later stages of the disease, you can see why it pays to protect your skin.
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Tips For Choosing Sunscreen
There are different types of sunscreens and a wide variety of brands, but the question is – What are you supposed to be looking for?
Generally, you need to find one that has broad-spectrum coverage. The sun’s radiation is on both the Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) spectrums. They affect the skin differently, but you need to be protected from both.
When it comes to the level of protection you need, dermatologists recommend going for products that have SPF30 and above. Bear in mind that higher protection doesn’t mean you can just leave it on all day without re-application. If you’ve been in the sun for at least