Skin cancer is a serious and sometimes life-threatening disease. While seasonal tanning or the occasional sunburn may seem inconsequential, these activities can increase your risk of skin cancer and other related complications of sun exposure. Knowing some of the common factors that contribute to skin cancer can help you maintain beautiful, youthful skin and protect your overall health.
- Sun Exposure: Any sunburn, even those you had as a child, can increase your risk of skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, suffering from five or more sunburns can double a person’s risk for melanoma, a form of skin cancer that can be fatal. Likewise, extended sun exposure from frequent tanning or time outdoors without sunscreen also increases your risk for skin cancer.
- Location: If you live or work in a high-altitude climate with frequent sunny weather, your risk of developing skin cancer is heightened. The Earth’s atmosphere is thinner at high elevations than it is at sea level or below, exposing you to more of the sun’s radiation. Additionally, year-round warm and sunny weather can mean you are outdoors more often and being exposed to damaging UV rays.
- Skin Type: People with fair skin produce less melanin, or skin pigmentation. Melanin is the body’s natural protection from the sun, so if you are of fair skin, you are more susceptible to skin damage and disease from sun exposure. If you have a large number of moles, monitor them and visit your dermatologist on a regular basis to detect changes that could indicate the beginnings of cancerous growth.
- Family History: Other risk factors for skin cancer include a family history of skin cancer. Additionally, if you yourself have had an instance of skin cancer in the past, your risk for developing the disease again is increased.
For more information about skin cancer prevention and treatment, contact Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. To locate an office or dermatologist near you, please visit Advanced Dermatology online or call us today at (866) 400-3376.