Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Darker Skins Can Get Too Much Sun

July 2, 2012
Plain English Version


Dermatologists say dark skin offers more natural protection from the sun’s harmful rays than light skin. However, no one is immune to damage from the sun.

Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans naturally produce more of a chemical called melanin. This chemical affects skin color and absorbs damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. Very dark-skinned people have a natural skin protection factor (SPF) of up to 13. That is twice as much UV radiation protection as fair-skinned people.

Health experts advise everyone to use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Dark-skinned people are still susceptible to damage from the sun. They get sunspots, wrinkles—and cancer.

Companies make a variety of products in addition to sun screen to shield people from the sun’s rays, including clothing, shoes, makeup, umbrellas, and even some detergents.

Many products do what they are supposed to do – protect people from  absorbing UV rays. But experts say, “When it comes to sun protection, you cannot beat a dark shirt with a tight weave and a good hat. There is a lot you can do and not spend a lot of money.”

The New York Times

Print Friendly

In Brief

Sitting, Standing, Moving: The Road to Health 

At some jobs, you stand all day. At some other jobs, you are sitting at a desk. Whether standing or sitting, eight hours of...

Protecting the Unborn and Newborn From Asthma

The number of people with asthma is growing. About 300 million people worldwide have it. About 26 million people in America have it. Only...

Too Many Antibiotics Can Make Children Heavier

Children who use a lot of antibiotics gain more weight than others. The weight they gain may stay with them into adulthood.

A study of...

Enemy of the Day: Sugar

The U.S. government is saying how much sugar we should consume. They suggest that only 10 percent of the average person’s calories should come...


  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by DictionaryBox.com
Click to listen highlighted text!