Darker-Skinned Individuals Can Also Sunburn
Photo protection is crucial for all skin types. At Ambleside Dermedics, Dr. Shehla Ebrahim, our experienced physician, wants to keep you informed about the risks of excess sun exposure.
Darker-skinned individuals, just like lighter-skinned people, can sunburn and suffer the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) exposure, which can contribute to the development of skin cancers.
We recommend applying topical sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30, wearing sun-protective clothing, and even avoiding the sun when possible.
Caucasians and other light skinned individuals typically experience higher rates of skin cancer—basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. However, all skin types on the Fitzpatrick scale have some risk of developing this condition. As reported in the Dermatology Times:
- African Americans – SCC is the most common non-melanoma skin cancer for African Americans, followed by BCC
- Caucasians – BCC occurs more frequently than SCC
- Asians – For those with darker skin (typically South Asians) SCC tends to be more common than BCC
- Asians – For those with fair skin (typically East Asians), similar to lighter-skinned Caucasians, BCC tends to be more prevalent than SCC
Skin cancers that develop in darker-skinned patients also tend to be more pigmented than those occurring in Caucasian skin. Darker-skinned individuals can also develop melanoma in atypical locations, such as on the palms and, especially, the soles.
Dr. Shehla Ebrahim is vigilant and aware of the types and frequency of skin cancers that can occur. If you have an area of concern or additional questions, please ask your family physician for a referral to see Dr. Ebrahim. Contact us for more information.