Recognizing Latinos’ range of skin pigment and phototypes to enhance skin cancer prevention

June K. Robinson, Frank J. Penedo, Jennifer L. Hay, Nina G. Jablonski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Latinos in the United States may have the mistaken assumption that their natural pigmentation protects them from developing skin cancer that, effectively, serves as a barrier to Latinos receiving education in primary and secondary prevention of skin cancer. Latino adults of Mexican or Puerto Rican heritage attending community health fairs in the greater Chicago area responded to a culturally informed and sensitive measure for sunburn and tan, which was previously adapted to capture skin irritation with tenderness from the sun occurring in darker skin types (n = 350). By self-reported responses and spectrophotometry assessment of constitutive pigmentation, adapted Fitzpatrick skin types (FST) ranged from skin type I–IV in the Mexican American participants and from II to V in the Puerto Rican participants. The objectively measured proportion of adapted FST II skin type was greater than commonly perceived and demonstrated that many Latinos do indeed have sun-sensitive skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-492
Number of pages5
JournalPigment Cell and Melanoma Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Oncology
  • Dermatology


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