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Even though a person of color might rarely get a sunburn, it’s important to practice sun care, because the sun can still damage your skin. It’s especially important for people of color to be aware of skin damage, because skin cancer can be more difficult to catch in darker skin, and may lead to skin cancer not being detected until later, more deadly stages when treatment is more difficult.
The good news is, skin cancer is relatively easy to detect early, and there are a few things you can do to keep your skin health in check and decrease the likelihood of skin cancer.
Make sure to get out a full-length mirror and check your skin regularly, making sure to have a partner or someone you trust examine places you can’t reach. Be on the lookout for spots that are darker than they should be, patches of dry skin, sores that won’t go away, or thin dark lines under your fingernails – these are early signs of skin cancer.
Get into the shade whenever possible. While sunny weather may be pleasant, UV rays from the sun are the cause of skin cancer and it’s important to not get too much of it.
Apply before you go out, and then keep some in your car or purse to reapply a few hours later, especially after swimming or sweating. Maintaining a steady sunscreen regimen helps prevent skin cancer. Don’t skip it – even on cold or cloudy days, UV rays can still affect your skin.
It’s important to protect your skin by keeping it covered whenever you can. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck, long sleeves or pants if the weather permits, and shoes that cover the top of your foot. This is especially important for African Americans, who often develop skin cancer on their feet.
People of color do develop skin cancer at a lower rate than Caucasians, but they do still develop it, and since it is often caught in the later stages it can be harder to treat. Keep yourself healthy by protecting your skin and examining it once a month – you’ll be glad you did!
If you’d like to set up an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to discuss your skin’s unique needs, contact us today at www.getmegreatskin.com!