Do Nigerians need sunscreen?

Do Nigerians need sunscreen?

A lot of Nigerians don’t think they need to wear sunscreen. Why? Most of us tell that we have enough melanin which will protect us from any sun in the Universe.

However, the melanin gives only SPF13-SPF15 protection which is not enough. As a result, many people suffer from skin cancer or hyperpigmentation.

According to Wikipedia,

There can be abnormal melanocytes formed and distributed in the skin. this is called depigmentation.

Let’s learn out what is black skin.

What is a black skin?

I’m sure that all of you used emojis based on the skin color. This range of the emojis is actually a Fitzpatrick scale.

Fitzpatrick scale

As you can see, types V and VI here is African skin, which

  • has fewer risks to get skin cancer than all the previous types
  • contain more melanin than the mentioned ones
  • is more UV resistant

The types V and VI are also different. For example, the type VI neither burns nor tans.

Which types of sunrays do exist?

Let’s consider the other factor: sun rays.

There are three types of sun rays:

  • UVA (long)
  • UVB (short)
  • UVC (doesn’t reach the surface)
Sunrays types

The World Health Organization states that ultraviolet (UV) rays are proven carcinogen.

How to measure the UV and be sure they are not harmful to you? There is a UV index for this which is available for every Nigerian region.

UV index forecasts the skin radiation damage at the midday (when the sun is highest).

UV index can range from 0 to 12. And here is how it relates to skin type:

UV index depending on the skin type

As you can see, the 12 level is not even represented — so high it is.

So, the sun is very dangerous for our skin in Nigeria despite the melanin which protects us only partially.

How to protect your skin?

To protect yourself from the sun you can do the following:

  • Use sunscreen with a minimum of SPF30
  • Top up it every 2 hours during the day
  • There is a waterproof sunscreen which will protect you in the water and won’t be washed out for a few hours
  • If that is possible don’t go out from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Wear a hat (you can buy or sell ones on Swapix Nigeria)
  • Keep little children (before 6 months) out of the sun