It is now almost 3 weeks since I started my hectic life as a third year medical student. Last week we learned something about basal cell carcinoma which is the most common form of cancer worldwide. In the vast majority of cases, it is thought to be caused by a long exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun. One of the basic Science that underlies this disease is the melanin production because our patient showed a hyper-pigmented skin and this disease often appears on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, scalp, ears and etc.
One of my friends was presenting in the tutorial session about how important the melanin is in protecting our body. He said the melanin is actually produced to prevent the harmful UV rays from destroying the cells of the skin as it is a naturally protective substance that absorbs the sun’s rays. Thus, if we get tanned, please do not get worried because basically the melanin is protecting our body from the dangerous effects of the UV rays such as causing a cancer.
But in my world today, or at least from the place I come, people adore fair skin so much. There are so many cosmetic products in the market nowadays that can help people to lighten their skin colour or make us become fairer. But we don’t actually realize that being fairer means the risk for us to develop skin cancer is getting higher… People with fair skin have less melanin and when exposed to the sun, our skin reacts by producing melanin as a way to protect itself from further damage. Instead of tanning, fair skinned individuals tend to burn when exposed to too much sun.
That day I went back to my room and checked all my make-ups and the worst thing is my Loreal make-up contains Melano-block which regulates the production of the melanin so that my skin doesn’t go dark. Omg!
So people, what will you choose? You wanna look fairer or you don’t mind being dark but have the less risk for developing cancer? The choice is in our hand.