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Now and then we'll hear a customer say, "I don't need sunscreen; I'm black."  It is true that pigmented skin carries some protection, and also that some forms of skin cancer are more common in people with very fair skin. However, those with darker skin usually have higher mortality rates for several types of skin cancer than their white counterparts.  This lower survival rate is often a direct result of late detection or misdiagnosis.

To ensure you have healthy, cancer free skin, follow these five tips:

1.Stay out of the sun. Your beautifully pigmented skin gives you some protection, but it is far from absolute. Use a broad spectrum, photostable sunscreen and use it consistently.
2.Choose an informed doctor. Ask about early detection specifically for darker skin types. There is little information available to the medical community about cancers and brown skin, and you want to work with someone who knows the issues.
3.Educate yourself. Know the signs of different skin cancers, including those less prevalent among people of color. You'll want to know about melanoma as well as basal cell carcinoma.
4.Check for abnormal skin: irregularities in texture, color and condition. If you have brown or black skin, be cautious about discoloration and bumps appearing in areas less likely to have been exposed to UV like the palms of hands and soles of the feet. These can be mistaken for scars or Plantar's warts.
5.If a cancer is discovered, act quickly. Many can be successfully removed surgically. Those which cannot often respond well to radiation therapy. However, some tumors which have metastasized are virtually incurable.
To learn more about what constitutes an effective sunscreen, please click here to visit our articleAnd you might be interested in our article on special sunscreen issues for people with darker skin.

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