2023 JULY 16TH, SUNDAY The HealthDay News Dr. Caroline Opene, a dermatologist, is frequently questioned about which sunblocks are best for those with darker skin.
Not necessarily, according to the clinic’s director at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health.
According to Opene, the most effective sunscreen is the one you routinely apply, according to a UCLA Health press release.
“While I do advise everyone to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, there are alternatives. Mineral sunscreens manufactured with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide may be preferable for people with sensitive skin and young children. I usually advise zinc oxide to people who are prone to hyperpigmentation because it also offers high UVA protection, she continued.
On individuals with darker skin tones, though, these mineral sunscreens can occasionally create an unfavorable white cast, according to Opene.
“While chemical sunscreens typically don’t leave a cast, folks with sensitive skin or allergies may find them upsetting. In order to provide protection and better blendability for my patients with darker skin tones, I commonly suggest hybrid sunscreens that contain both chemical and mineral filters, according to Opene.
Skin’s black pigment, melanin, offers some protection from the sun’s harmful rays, but not as much as people typically believe, according to Opene.
“Those with medium to darker skin tones typically see a reduction in precancerous growths and a delayed onset of sun-induced wrinkles. Sun damage can, however, manifest in these groups as uneven skin tone or dark blotches, she pointed out.
Opene advises using a tinted broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against both UVA and UVB rays as well as visible light, which is present in both natural and artificial light sources. According to her, it is a significant cause of hyperpigmentation in persons of color.
“In general, people who have fairer skin that burns readily and those with a family history of the disease are at the greatest risk for developing skin cancer. Having said that, I have identified a good number of skin cancers among Asian, Latino, and African American patients who have worked outside for a long time on their hands or faces, Opene added.
“People of color can also develop skin cancer in ‘hidden’ areas, such as the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet,” she cautioned.
According to Opene, skin cancer can usually be treated if it is discovered early. She also noted that access to dermatological treatment is frequently difficult for persons of color. They frequently have skin cancer that is at more advanced stages when they visit the dermatologist.
All people should periodically check their own skin for any abnormal or changing moles and visit their doctor right away if they have any concerns, according to Opene.
Information on skin cancer in persons of color can be found at the American Academy of Dermatology.