Intended for healthcare professionals
Ethnic dermatology

Photoprotection for ethnic skin

Photoprotection is the term widely used to describe protection against the harmful effects of UV radiation on the skin. Ethnic skin is commonly thought to be naturally photoprotected; however, this is not always entirely correct as there are several factors to take into account, e.g., the complexion of the individual, loss of pigmentation due to lack of sun exposure and cosmetic skin lightening. 


Ultraviolet radiation
During sunlight exposure, the skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UV) rays, UVB and UVA, with the dangerous UVC being blocked by the atmospheric layer.

UVB (280–315nm; 2%) is very energetic but only reaches the superficial layers of the skin, contributing to immediate inflammation, sunburn and solar erythema, which are rare and little visible on coloured skin, and also have a mutagenic effect.

Dermatology in practice 2018; 24(3): 84–86
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