What Causes Skin Cancer?

Skin Cancer Causes 

Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of all cancers in the US today. The number one cause of skin cancers is ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, but UV lighting from tanning beds is just as harmful. It is important to understand that sun exposure during the winter months puts an individual at the same risk as exposure during the summer time.

Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are primarily caused due to cumulative sun exposure. At the same time, episodes of severe sunburns, usually before age 18, may cause melanoma later in life. Less common causes of skin cancer include repeated exposure to x-ray radiation, scars from burns or disease, and occupational exposure to certain types of chemicals.

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness provides safe, sagacious, and effective treatments for various types of skin cancers. Dr. McGinness is one of the recognized experts in Mohs micrographic surgery to remove skin cancers. He provides advanced skin care procedures to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other areas across the horizon.

Risk Factors

While anyone may be inflicted with skin cancer, the risk is higher in people with fair or freckled skin that gets sunburns easily. People with light eyes and blond or red hair are also at a higher risk. In case of darker skinned individuals, the risk of skin cancer is considerably reduced.

Apart from skin complexion, other risk factors include having a family history or personal history of skin cancer, having an outdoor job, or living in a sunny climate. Individuals with a history of severe sunburns or having a presence of large and irregularly-shaped moles in various areas of the body are at a higher risk of melanoma.

UV Overexposure

UV light damages the DNA in the skin cells and may cause skin cancer. Overexposure to the sun or sunburn in childhood can contribute to the development of basal cell cancers. Even if the skin damage caused due to UV light during childhood does not show up at that time, it may cause skin cancer many years later.

People who work outdoors for a living, such as farm workers, builders and gardeners, are at an increased risk of developing squamous cell and basal cell cancers. Black or brown skinned people have a low risk of developing skin cancer because the pigment melanin in their skin gives them protection.

Other Causes

Regular use of sunlamps and sunbeds can increase the risk of developing some skin cancers. Individuals who have suffered from a skin cancer before are at risk of getting another one. This may either be a local recurrence or somewhere else on their body.

People who have undergone radiotherapy treatment for other conditions can sometimes get skin cancer later in life. Basal cell carcinoma may typically occur in such cases. People who take drugs that lower their immunity, for instance, after a kidney transplant, are at an increased risk of skin cancer. Judicious, amazing, and board certified dermatologist Dr. McGinness receives patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and nearby areas.

If you would like to learn more about procedures and treatments at Metro East Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jamie L. McGinness please contact us here or call (618) 622-SKIN (7546)

Taking new patients in and around the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois area: East St. Louis, Shiloh, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County.

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