December 22, 2021 7 min read
Are black people free from the fear of sunburn? Not really. The truth is that sunburn on black skin are worse for Afro people. Why is that?
Well, the facts are that skin with more melanin is more prone to damage from the sun. Don't buy it? Let's dive into it!
Sunburn is damage caused by exposure to extreme heat from the sun. This is a temporary form of skin damage with easy-to-see symptoms. Redness, peeling, and patchy, uneven skin tone is an inflammatory response in the skin's outermost layer to ultraviolet (UV) light damage. Severe sunburn can cause severe burning pain and requires immediate special care.
Human skin has melanin - a pigment that gives skin color and protects it from the sun's rays. Melanin works by darkening the skin when exposed to the sun. The amount of melanin produced depends on genetics. Black people have higher levels of melanin than yellow or white people.
When the skin is overexposed to UV radiation, the immune system increases blood flow to the sunburned area, resulting in dark red skin. The consequences of sunburn can range from mild symptoms to blistering. After a while, the burned dead skin cells will automatically slough off, creating a new layer of young skin that continues to grow normally. This is a sign that your body is trying to get rid of damaged cells on its own. Never try to peel the skin yourself, let it peel off naturally.
A mistake that many black people often make is assuming that dark-skinned people don't get sunburned. The fact is any skin is likely to be affected by the sun. Furthermore, colored people will face more danger when sunburned, just because they subjectively do not pay attention to the signs of sunburn to take timely remedial measures.
Dark-skinned people are more likely to have natural skin protection than whites when exposed to high UV intensity, but they can still experience peeling sunburn and the risk of dying from skin cancer.
Dark-skinned people have natural skin protection levels that range from SPF 4 to 13, but that doesn't mean they'll never get sunburned. If exposed to the sun for a long time, black people can get a more severe and painful sunburn than white people. The danger is that dark-skinned people do not know their skin is sunburned so that they can take timely measures. As a result, skin damage will accumulate from multiple sunburns and lead to unpredictable consequences.
The main cause of sunburn is not properly covering and protecting the skin, leading to the exposed body part when exposed to light will be affected by the impact of ultraviolet rays. In sunlight, there are two main types of ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB, both of which have different negative effects on the skin leading to many consequences such as:
If people with dark skin are naturally able to protect themselves against sun damage, then why, according to published studies, do they still get sunburned? Most black people believe that their skin is already dark, if there is a sunburn or darker tan, there will not be much change, so they do not take measures to protect their skin against sun damage.
Sunburn that happens to anyone, regardless of skin color, is a serious problem. When you get a sunburn, the skin begins to peel, literally the skin cells burn to death, which in science is apoptosis. This process indicates that the immune system is killing skin cells with DNA damaged by the sun.
The data provided in the report from 2002 to 2011 shows that the rate of skin cancer in the United States has increased rapidly and has become the most common cancer in this country. The rise in cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is also skyrocketing. As reported by the American Cancer Society, melanoma arises from the pigment cells melanocytes.
Tumors can appear on the hands, soles, and under the toenails in African-Americans, accounting for more than 50% of melanoma cases. In addition, black people are more likely to die from melanoma than white people. When skin cancer is diagnosed in a person with dark skin, it is more advanced. As a result, only about 69% of people survive 5 years, with whites this number reaches 93%. In addition to some genetic factors, African-Americans with certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, are also at increased risk for sunburn, because the drugs used to treat these conditions increase the severity of skin's sensitivity to sunlight.
People of color are often at a higher risk of dying from melanoma because they are not diagnosed and treated promptly. The reason may be because of difficult health policy or they do not have the conditions to go for regular check-ups to detect diseases. There are even many cases where people of color are still misdiagnosed despite going to the doctor regularly because the doctors themselves think that they have a lower risk of skin cancer than white people.
The most effective measures to prevent sunburn are to limit the skin's exposure to sunlight. You can utilize thick, breathable, and spacious sun protection clothing, do not skip a hat or sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. In addition, don’t forget to apply good quality sunscreen, broad-spectrum protection, and high SPF, PA. In the meantime, keep in mind to add enough water, actively use fruit juices rich in Vitamins A, E, C to enhance resistance in general. If you must use drugs or cosmetics that can increase the skin's light sensitivity, you should consult your doctor.
Never make an excuse to skip sun protection. Sun exposure in fact may help the body synthesize vitamin D. People may argue that it is necessary to ignore sun protection measures to expose their skin to ultraviolet rays. But this is not a compelling reason because you can completely get vitamin D through your daily diet. Omega 3 fish oils or vitamin D supplements are all convenient options for providing your body with the nutrients it needs, without exposing your skin to the sun.
Sun protection is not only a method to protect the beauty, the important role of sun protection for health is to prevent sunburn, skin inflammation, and even skin cancer. Especially when the climate is increasingly harsh, the ozone layer that protects the earth is being destroyed, and ultraviolet rays with increasingly stronger intensity are destroying human life.
In addition, to avoid darkening of the skin due to sunburn, you should also limit sun exposure between 10am and 3pm daily. If you must go out at that time, you should equip more clothes, hats and apply sunscreen to cool down and reduce the risk of sunburn for the body.
We should not take the pigment melanin for granted, leading to skin damage caused by the impact of sunlight. If not handled in time, you are at risk of serious skin diseases.
Skin is an important component to present each person's health and beauty. Taking care of yourself is the finest approach to demonstrate self-love and pride. Stay beautiful!
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