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Dark Skin Equally Vulnerable to Skin Cancer

Updated at: May 20, 2013
Written by: PTIPublished at: May 20, 2013
Dark Skin Equally Vulnerable to Skin Cancer

According to experts, darker skin may have more pigment-making cells, to offer some inherent protection against UV rays, but not enough to prevent skin cancer.

Dark Skin Equally Vulnerable to Skin Cancer

"Darker skin has more pigment-making cells, which provide some inherent protection against UV rays, but not enough," said Adam Friedman, MD, director of dermatologic research, Division of Dermatology, Montefiore Medical Center.

It is perceived that fair-skinned people are at a higher risk of skin cancer and the problems associated with too much exposure to the sun. On the contrary, the harmful effects of UV exposure may be slow in people of colour, but UV rays can still damaging and cause cosmetic problems and serious conditions like skin cancer.

Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is 20 times more common in white Caucasians than in African Americans, but darker skin are at greater risk of late diagnosis with advanced, thicker melanomas and lower survival rates.
The risk levels of skin cancer vary among skin types, but preventive measures can significantly minimise sun damage and the potential for skin cancer to develop.



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