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7 Surprising Skin Cancer Risks

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Risk #3: You have dark skin that you think protects you.
skin cancer risk and prevention
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Nola Lopez

It's well established that people with fair skin have a much greater chance of developing skin cancer. But although Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, Native Americans, and native Hawaiians develop fewer skin cancers overall, when the disease does occur, it's diagnosed later and is often deadlier. "There's a belief that you don't have to worry about skin cancer if you have dark skin," says Hugh M. Gloster Jr., M.D., professor of dermatology at the University of Cincinnati. "Unfortunately, because of this false perception, many cases are spotted only after they've become advanced."

What You Should Do: In dark skin, melanoma often lurks in areas that aren't sun-exposed. "Check between your toes, on the bottoms of your feet and the palms of your hands, and under your nails for new dark spots or streaks," says Dr. Gloster. And don't forgo sunscreen.

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