Statistics show that the risk for skin cancer is lower the darker your skin is which means that most Hispanics and black people in the U.S. are at lower risk than most white people.However, lower doesn’t mean zero and when it comes to melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer, a lack of concern can be deadly. Studies show that thouogh black people and Hispanics are much less likely than white people to get melanoma, they are much more likely to be diagnosed at a late state and die from it.
In June, the American Medical Association passed a rsolution called for greater skin cancer prevention efforts airmed at “communities of color.” The AMA resolution said people of all skin colors should use sunscreens, limit sun exposure and have regular skin exams. The most common skin cancers are linked to accumulated damage caused by the sun over a lifetime. The link between sun exposure and melanoma is more comlex but studies suggest indoor tanning, sunburns and bouts of intense exprosue (sun-soked vacations) do raise the risk.
Sun exposure does have at least one benefit – it boosts vitamin D levels which are often low in dark-skinned people.
Years of warnings have failed to persuade most white people to cover up and persuading black and brown skinned people is much tougher.
Skin care for people of color must be approached in a different way as well. Darker skin needs to be treated more carefully — dark skin should be treated as “sensitive” skin. Jilleen Hoffman, medical aesthetician with Dr. Seth Yellin, plastic surgeon, at Emory Facial Center says, “You have to treat the skin as sensitive and cannot be aggressive. You do not want to cause inflammation which will cause hyperpigmentation. I do use glycolic or AHA’s on darker skin and have used microderm and TCA light peels. I always recommend a patch test to see how the skin is going to respond. We also have an IPL (intense pulse light) laser and I perform laser hair removal. You have to be extremely careful with hair removal because the skin pigment will absorb energy from the laser light exposure causing hyperpigmentation.” And she adds, “Always wear sunscreen or sunblock.”
For a consultation with Jilleen Hoffman, contact Emory Facial Center at 404-303-0101. Jilleen is available for appointments on Monday, Thursday afternoon and Fridays.
Emory Facial Center, 5730 Glenridge Drive, Suite 230, Atlanta, GA 30328 404-303-0101
“Our goal at the Emory Facial Center is to help you discover a naturally more beautiful you. We offer a team approach that combines exceptional care with the latest technology and techniques, ensuring that you get the best possible results.”