Today is the first day of summer and if you’re anything like me you’re looking forward to days at the beach or park or somebody’s cookout. With all the fun that we have planned, we need to make sure that our fun in the sun is actually safe. There is this misconception that people with darker skin do not need to wear sun protection (we’ve all heard that saying “Black don’t crack”). Although melanin is magical and does soak up the sun, there is a limit to the protection that it can provide.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.” Just to clarify, melanomas of the skin are not on the list of top 10 cancer sites for Black men and women. But, don’t be fooled.
Although the incidence of skin cancer is lower in dark-skinned people, that does not mean that it absolutely won’t happen. There is still a risk, no matter how small. And when you take into account that when skin cancer does occur with dark-skinned people, it is usually detected at a later and more dangerous stage. Skin care should always be a priority when out and about during the hot summer months.
You can find the above visor and earring set on IG @ShadowQueenAccessories
The following are a few CDC Sun Safety Tips to keep in mind this summer:
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
- Cover up with clothing to protect exposed skin.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
- Use sunscreen with broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and a sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher (this will usually be printed on the sunscreen bottle).
- Remember to reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
For more information about Skin Cancer Awareness and Sun Protection please visit www.cdc.gov/cancer and click on the Skin Cancer Awareness link.