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The Causes of Skin Cancer

Edited By: Krista Mc'Farlene
 Summer is well on its way and that means more time in the sun. Spending more time outdoors and at the beach would mean that we would need to take precautions against skin cancer. Skin cancer has a variety of forms including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell is the most common form of skin cancer, while melanoma is the deadliest. But what are the factors that contribute to the disease? Take a look at the common causes of skin cancer below:
skin cancer

1. History of Sunburn

If you burned easily when you were a child, skin damage can follow into your adulthood developing into skin cancer in the future. Adults who suffer from sunburns are also at risk. For this reason, it's important to protect your skin when you are outdoors, wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, and a hat. 

2. Skin Cancer/Genes in the Family

Know of someone in your family who has had skin cancer? Be it a sibling, parent or grandparent, there may be a chance that you will be affected too. There are certain types of skin cancer which are hereditary and caused by gene mutations. If you've got a family history of skin cancer be sure to talk to your doctor. 

3. Having Fair Skin or Freckles

People with fair skin have a higher risk of getting skin cancer due to there being less pigment in the skin which protects against harsh UV rays. Still, it doesn't mean that those with darker skin are immune, as anyone can get skin cancer. But those who have freckles or have less melanin are more susceptible. 

4. Being a Redhead

A genetic mutation in the DNA of redheads can increase the rate of skin cancer. This can also be said for people with blue eyes. It is therefore essential that they use protection from the sun. 

skin cancer

5. High Altitudes

If you live in a high altitude region this would mean that you are in closer proximity to sunlight, increasing your risk of skin cancer. This is especially true for people who fly regularly, like pilots, or people who live in extremely sunny regions, like Florida, or mountainous areas, such as Denver. 

6. Radiation Treatments

People who have been exposed to radiation for treatment of conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or acne may have these areas of the skin vulnerable to skin cancer. 

7. Chemicals

Like arsenic and tar chemicals have been linked to increased rates of skin cancer. There are certain medications that cause photosensitivity in the skin too and they have been found to raise the risk of skin cancer. 

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