EVERYONE should wear sunscreen.. even people with dark-skin tone - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

EVERYONE should wear sunscreen.. even people with dark-skin tones

Everyone should wear sunscreen.. even people with dark-skin tones (Source: FOX 8) Everyone should wear sunscreen.. even people with dark-skin tones (Source: FOX 8)
(WVUE) -

It's a common misconception that people with darker skin tones don't need to use as much sunscreen.

Doctors warn that everyone should be concerned about skin cancer and should protect themselves.

Dr. Suneeta Walia is a dermatological surgeon with Ochsner Health System who stopped by the FOX 8 Morning Edition to discuss the topic.

She says she considers "people of color" to include people of African, Asian, Latino, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or Native American descent.

Dr. Walia says dark skin tone is not adequate protection against the most harmful rays of the sun that cause skin cancer.

She says everyone, no matter their skin color, should protect exposed skin from the sun's UVA and UVB rays with protective clothing or sunscreen that contains zinc oxide.

"It's also important to reapply it every two hours. One application is not enough. Typically, you need one ounce of sunscreen to cover your exposed body parts – the amount needed to fill a shot glass. Don't forget your nose, the insides of your ears and your lips. These areas can be higher risk for skin cancer development," Dr. Suneeta Walia said. 

Early detection could be the key to surviving skin cancer. Dr. Walia suggests doing monthly self-checks where you look at your entire body in a full-length mirror. Check your skin head-to-toe, especially hard to see areas.

As you look each spot or mole, doctors say use the ABCDE rule:

Asymmetry – one half of the spot looks different from the other. 

Border – the border is irregular, poorly defined, or scalloped

Color – the color isn't consistent throughout the spot, perhaps darker or lighter in one area 

Diameter – greater than 6 millimeters, the size of a pencil eraser

Evolving – size, shape or color looks different from the rest and is changing. 

Wilma Smith is a skin cancer patient who discovered it early and was able to be treated. Her story was featured today on FOX 8 Morning Edition.

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