Myths about Black folks and the sun

I recently read an article that I want to share. As an African American who uses sunscreen regularly,  I often get strange looks from other African Americans when they see me slather on the lotion. I've even listened to snickering and comments like (is she trying to get a tan)? And my favorite, black folks don't need that stuff. But having experienced the itching and peeling for myself I'm not about to forgo the products, not to mention the control of just how dark I get each summer. I'm brown sort of a caramel color and with sunscreen and a lot of sun exposure I'll turn a nice tropical tone. Without it I'll just get darker but that's when the skin burns.  Science has confirmed that we can also get skin cancer and have a far shorter survival rate than Caucasians. So protect your children and yourself. Enjoy time outdoors but don't forget the sunscreen because the ultra violet rays won't forget you. Be safe not sorry.

Here are the recommendations from American Medical Associations annual meeting.

Skin Cancer Prevention in Communities of Color

The five-year survival rate from melanoma is lower in African Americans (58.8 percent) than Caucasians (84.8 percent), and the incidence of melanoma among Hispanics over the past 15 years has risen to rates comparable among whites. Hispanics and African Americans are screened less frequently for skin cancer and mistakenly believe that their chance for developing skin cancer is lower compared to Caucasians. Today, the AMA passed policy to support and encourage efforts to increase awareness of skin cancer risks, skin cancer screening, and sun-protective behaviors in communities of color.
“All patients regardless of race or ethnicity should use the same sun protection measures including sunscreen of at least SPF 15, avoid the sun during peak hours and regular exams,” said AMA Board Member Peter W. Carmel, M.D.  “However, African Americans and Hispanics are much less likely to practice these behaviors, and the AMA supports efforts to increase awareness.”

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:19 PM

    I agree! People of color should use sun screen. I have four children. Three are darker than me and will get super dark if left to the sun without sun screen. I did not grow up using sun screen and thought it was cool to get dark in the summer. My kids refuse to go outside to play in the sun without their sunscreen.