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UV Protection Methods Low in Individuals With Skin of Color

Sunscreen use low, with 62 to 74 percent of African-Americans reporting never or rarely using sunscreen

MONDAY, July 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Many individuals with skin of color do not know that they need comprehensive photoprotection to prevent skin cancer and photoaging, according to an article published in Dermatology Times.

Although individuals from all races can develop skin cancers in sun-exposed sites, many patients with skin of color are not aware that they need comprehensive photoprotection. Individuals with skin of color represent a heterogeneous group, including phenotypically and genotypically diverse groups, and account for 28 percent of the population in the United States.

According to the article, sun-protective behaviors are low among people with skin of color. Overall, 62 to 74 percent of African-Americans and 47 to 69 percent of Hispanics report never or rarely using sunscreen. Photoprotection compliance may be suboptimal in African-Americans and Hispanics because they are less concerned about sunburn and skin cancer. Asians are generally more compliant than Caucasians, as they understand the risk of pigmentations as well as wrinkle formation. African-Americans and Hispanics also report low use of protective clothing. The American Academy of Dermatology recommendations for photoprotection are similar for people with skin of color and Caucasians.

“We have to come up with some ingenious easy convenient way to change behavior,” Steven Q. Wang, M.D., from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, N.J., said in the article.

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