Blacks brown why

Sunburn: Dark-skinned people don't protect themselves enough

"People with more melaninous skin may think they are safe from sunburn - which they don't," says Tracy Favreau, of Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The researcher and her colleagues had recruited 437 Florida residents for a 20-minute survey. On the one hand, the researchers surveyed people in public places such as beaches, in cafes, libraries, on the university campus and passers-by on the street, and on the other hand using online questionnaires.

Skin type, sun exposure, sun protection

The participants answered a total of 79 questions, including questions about their sensitivity to the sun (from level 1 "always burn, never tan" to level 6 "never burn, tan quickly"), about sunburns in the previous twelve months, when you were exposed to the sun - For example, during lunchtime, whether and how ot they used sunscreen or whether they went to Solatien.

How much the participants know about the sun was also asked according to the “right-wrong principle” - for example “You can't get sunburn on a cloudy day” (wrong) or “Sun protection must be replaced every two hours” (correct).

Particularly at risk: young and dark-skinned people

It became very clear that among the 37 percent of participants who had suffered painful sunburn in the previous twelve months, a disproportionately large number of young adults between 19 and 29 years of age were. And among these there were again a disproportionately large number who classified themselves as “not-white”.

Underestimated danger

Young adults with darker complexions in particular often underestimate the danger that UV rays pose to them and use little or no sun protection. The result can initially be sunburn and later the dreaded black skin cancer.

In fact, skin cancer, also known as malignant melanoma, has been increasing in frequency since the 1980s. In 2012, 21,000 people in Germany received this diagnosis. The chances of survival are good only if it is recognized in time.

Risk factors for skin cancer

Particular risk factors for black skin cancer are:

  • People of light skin type who do not tan or tan poorly,
  • People with many pigment spots,
  • natural or artificial UV radiation from the sun or solariums, especially in childhood and adolescence.

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