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Growing up, I never used sunscreen. It just wasn’t something we were taught, especially because it was normal for my dad to turn a darker shade of brown after playing long summer soccer games in the intense and humid summer heat. I followed suit, also tanning nicely after being out in the sun for a solid 30 minutes.
My mother and her sisters on the other hand have extremely light complexions, leading to them turning into lobsters with just a few kisses of sunlight. I laughed at my mother’s red nose and winced at my aunts painful looking neck line.
It wasn’t until I was a bit older and outside all the time in my aunt and uncle’s pools in the summer that my mom would tell them to make me put sun screen on – just in case.
The amount of melanin, which is a pigment chemical in peoples’ skins that causes them to have light/darker complexions, plays a direct part in skin cancer risk, states the Skin Cancer Foundation. According to the website, melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the U.S. and although it accounts for less than two percent of all skin cancer cases, it is the cause of the majority of skin cancer deaths.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of developing melanoma varies between ethnicities with Caucasians developing it at a 3-5 times higher rate than Native Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 15-25 times higher than Latinos and African-Americans. However, while a darker complexion allows some protection, the important bottom-line is that people of color can still develop melanoma.
As the largest organ on our bodies, it’s hard to ignore the look and feel of your skin over time. Regardless of your skin color or amount of melanin it contains, there are steps that you should be taking to ensure that your skin stays vibrant and prevent any future skin problems. Here are some considerations from the Mayo Clinic.
Are there any routines that you do that helps your skin shine bright? Tell us in the comments below.
Last Updated: 5/21/2019
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