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Darker Skin and Sunburns

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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Colorado Springs Dermatologist Dr. Reagan Anderson

Video Transcript

So here’s another daily do from your friendly local dermatologist!

So I often get asked the question if darker-skinned people can still get sunburns and the answer is absolutely. So I burn really easily in the Sun and you can probably guess that just by looking at me. In fact, if the Sun comes on the TV, I shirk, I think I’m getting a sunburn from the Sun on the TV. My wife has this beautiful Italian skin and she just tans outside. Now if she’s really outside for a long period of time she will get burned and then I have friends who are African American who they hardly ever get a sunburn, but they will if they are out for long periods of time. See this concept of sun protection factor or SPF. You can loosely tie it into skin types as well. So you can say that I am a SPF of zero because I’ve burned so easily and maybe my wife has a built-in SPF, I don’t know a 5 or 8 or something like this and if somebody is very dark-complected, they might have a SPF of 15 or more, but probably not much more than 20 and as you know and as I know if you have an SPF of 15 or 20 on that will let you stay in the Sun for 15 to 20 times longer than somebody who burns very easily because I have an SPF of zero on my skin. But you can still burn. So if you’re out all day long, you’re still accumulating that damage. So guys please, don’t just say I have darker complexion. I try to talk to my wife all the time about this and say listen, even though you don’t burn your still getting damaged. So please cover up. I don’t want to be cutting cancers off of her in the future. So, please everybody take this topic seriously. Wear your hats, wear your sunscreen, enjoy your life, but just like you put a seatbelt on when you get in the car, please put your sunscreens on when you’re out in the Sun.

Because Dermatologists treat more than just skin cancer!

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