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  • Writer's pictureDr Ronnie Katureebe

SHOULD PEOPLE WITH DARKER SKIN WEAR SUNSCREEN?



There’s been a longstanding misconception that Black people don't need to wear Sunscreen. Yes, the risks of melanoma and burning are a lot higher in those with fairer skin, but this notion that those with more melanin don't have to wear it at all just isn't true.


In fact, there are a number of benefits of sunscreen for darker skin that go way beyond protection. The relationship between melanin skin and sunscreen is actually a lot more complex than you might expect and a variety of professionals on the subject matter are sounding off.


So where exactly did the idea that Black people don't need to wear sunscreen come from? Dr. Karen Chinonso Kagha, M.D. FAAD, a Cosmetic and Laser Fellow at Harvard University, explains that while Black people do need to wear sunscreen, there is some truth behind our skin shielding itself from burning. "Melanin in darker skin types has a photo-protective role and provides a natural protection factor.


Benefits of Wearing Sunscreen.

  • Many people use sunscreen to prevent wrinkling and ageing of the skin, the major benefit of sunscreen use is that;

  • It protects against DNA damage that usually results from chronic sun exposure and can lead to skin cancer. It is true that certain types of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma are much more common in light skin. The good news is that skin cancer is curable when detected and treated early. While less common, these conditions do occur in Black people. However, they are usually diagnosed at a much more advanced and deadly stage.

There are also some cosmetic advantages;

  • Sunscreen prevents premature ageing as prolonged sun exposure can reduce elasticity, causing fine lines and wrinkles.

  • It also helps to maintain your even skin tone as sun exposure worsens hyperpigmentation- dark spots and blotches on your skin.

So, the short answer to the question is yes!


Everyone, including those with dark skin, need to wear sunscreen every day. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day. A broad-spectrum sunscreen is one that protects from both the damaging UVA and UVB rays. One issue that some people encounter with sunscreen is that it may leave a white film on the skin, which makes it undesirable for daily use. But the good news is that there are newer, more elegant sunscreen formulations that go on even the darkest skin, without that white film. Make sure to protect your skin from the long-term effects of the sun with good sunscreen products you can get from Kampala Dermatology skin clinic which are approved by the American Academy of Dermatology.



For a knowledgeable consultation and a pleasant, safe experience, contact us or book an appointment on our WhatsApp account +256 780 907156 today . Our lead physician, Dr. Ronnie Katureebe is a trusted medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatologist in Kampala. We are conveniently located in Bugolobi Bandali Rise.


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