Do Black People Get Sunburnt? Sunburn & Race

Health.spreadit.org | September 25, 2009 | 7 Comments More

Do Black People Get Sunburnt? Sunburn & Race

Do Black People Get Sunburnt:Sunburn & Race – Do black people get sun burn? The answer is yes,despite the fact that black skin has a bit more protection due to melanin against UV rays it will get burn when exposed to too much UVA.John A. Kenney Jr., M.D., professor of dermatology at Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C., explains that black skin discolors quickly and scars easily because of the active melanin and hyper pigmentation and risks cancer like Caucasians.Here is sunburn rates among other racial groups besides whites:

* Asian/Pacific Islanders had sunburn rates of 18%
* American Indians and Alaska Natives about 27%
* Black Hispanics — about 14%
* Black non-Hispanics — about 5%





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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hell Yeah! Black ppl get sunburned! I got sunburned when i was in the bahamas this past aug. That white sand and BEAMING sun rays were harsh on my skin. And i forgot to get sunscreen. But my tan was beautiful though! :)

  2. aria says:

    I’m black and grew up on the south side of Chicago. As a child I played from morning to night with my friends and siblings all summer long. I have NEVER needed sunscreen nor have I or anyone in my family ever had a sunburn. My children who are now college students have NEVER had a sunburn. We are the lightest to the darkest shades of brown. Bottom line melanin is our natural sun screen. The more we’re exposed to intense sunlight the darker our skin becomes. It’s like going from SPF 20 to SPF 50. When the intensity of sun exposure decreases the skin lightens a few shades. As an RN for nearly two decades none of our patients admitted for skin cancer were black/african. Blacks can stay out in the sun as long as we want our skin darkens to protect us, it doesn’t burn or peel. Those who are bi-racial and very light, i.e. lacking melanin may very well burn when exposed for prolong periods of time.

  3. N/A says:

    I too recently returned from the Bahamas with an obvious case of sunburn. I am a dark-skinned African American male and this is the third time in my life this has happened to me. It always occurs when I travel to the Carribean or Mexico. I spend to much time outdoors or on the beach with no sunscreen and my shoulders, upper back, and parts of my face that are exposed the most get tender to the touch and even blister slightly, “although barely notice-able.” It doesnt really hurt like our caucasion cousin’s, “who look like cherrie’s if too exposed,” but it is something black people should be aware of.

  4. Felicia says:

    I have you know that i am black not mixed but black nor am i light skinned and i get sun burned at least once a summer. So this urban myth that only light or white people get sun burn, should be tossed out the window. Stay protected in the sun or you will peel!

  5. fdhej says:

    I’m “Brown” not “Black” that word was imposed on us as a people remember.And NO! Blackpeople don’t get sunburned! I’ve never been sunburned in my life!
    That God!

  6. me says:

    Umm, just because YOU have never burned doesn’t mean no other black poeple haven’t.

    I personally just went to the beach and had a “tan” in which the skin exposed to the sun became darker than the skin covered by my bathing suit. The very next day some my skin felt like it was on fire and then it started peeling. And I’m not light-skinned either.

    It does happen.

  7. healthyMom says:

    I wanted to share my sunburn experience. I was kayaking on a sunny 73 degree day in Hawaii – beautiful! I didn’t think I’d be out as long as I was so I got burned. I also underestimated the reflection of the water as I bought my kayak last September and kayaked short trips on partly cloudy days.

    I was recommend to use the Made from Earth Pure Aloe Vera Skin Treatment whenever i have been in the sun. It made the burn feel so much better without the gross, sticky feeling that you get from plain aloe which comes like a gel.

    If i have a painful sunburn, i will put this on multiple times in one day and it seems to make it go away much quicker, and more likely to turn into a tan. I also use it when i haven’t been on the sun. I think it’s a great lotion for normal use and if my skin gets dry, its a great moisturizer.