What Causes Skin Cancer
Risks for Different Types of Skin Cancers

What causes skin cancer? Prevention of the different types of skin cancer starts with knowing their risk factors. Causes range from being under the sun during its peak hours without any protection to subjecting yourself to radiation from tanning beds.

So, what are the known causes for skin cancers?

1. Neglecting Proper Protection

Not using a good sunscreen or sunblock lotion and clothing is one of the major causes. Going under the heat of the sun without any protection is like inviting the 3 types of skin cancers (especially melanoma) to start.

If you live near the equator, UVA and UVB rays from the sun are more intense. Going out in the sun without adequate protection in countries like Australia causes more damage.

2. Overexposure to UVA and UVB rays

effects of exposure to radiation

Basically, the dangerous effects of ultraviolet radiation are the primary causes of melanoma.

If you loved getting a tan by basking under the sun and you were doing it since you were a teen, you have definitely done a lot of damage to yourself.

The 3 types of skin cancer particularly melanoma develop after 20 to 30 years of continuous overexposure to the sun.

3. Exposure to UVA and UVB in tanning booths and sunlamps

People used to think that only the sun emits harmful radiation. Those who wanted to have a tan but didn't wish to sunbathe to avoid the sun chose to get their tan from tanning booths and sunlamps. They are unaware that it is also what causes skin cancer especially the development of melanoma.

According to the World Health Organization, tanning beds are definitely harmful. They even made a recommendation of banning those below 18 years of age from using those beds.

In July 2009, the International Agency on Research for Cancer classified tanning beds as one of the Class I carcinogens just like tobacco. The use of tanning beds causes . . .

  • different types of non-melanoma (especially squamous cell carcinoma) and melanoma, and

  • severe eye injury.

According to the Harvard Publications on Women's Health Watch, tanning beds pose same risks as tanning in the sun.

4. Misuse or Abuse of Glutathione

Glutathione is a liver supplement whose side-effect is to suppress melanin production. Many people who want to be fairer take this supplement not necessarily for their liver's health but to get a fairer complexion. Some even overdose on it to get results faster.

They might be ignorant of the fact that melanin is their skin's first natural defense against the harmful rays of the sun. Suppressing the melanin makes the skin more sensitive and damage prevention more difficult.

5. Possession of Fair Complexion

What are the disadvantages about having fair complexion?

Fair-complexioned people are at a higher risk to develop melanoma.

What causes skin cancer if you are fair-skinned? Less production of melanin causes it if you're fair-skinned. Darker complexion has more melanin. The incidence of tumor cases is lower in dark skinned people. Plus fairer complexion does not tan. It just burns.

Now that you know what the causes are, prevention of skin cancer particularly melanoma becomes easier. All it takes is common sense.

What would you like to read next?

Changes in Moles

Signs of Melanoma - Symptoms to Watch Out For

First Signs of Skin Cancer

Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

Return from What Causes Skin Cancer to What is Skin Cancer

Return from Risks for Skin Damage to Cancer Prevention Home

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