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Skin Cancer - What Are Common Risk Factors For It?

Dr. Sandeep Gupta 93% (1323 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi  •  14 years experience
Skin Cancer - What Are Common Risk Factors For It?

Skin cancer occurs when the DNA of the cells undergo mutations, thus causing unsystematic cell growth which evolve into a cancerous mass. This abnormality stems from the over-exposure of your skin to the Ultraviolet Radiations of the sun.

However, there are other factors too that escalate the risks of skin cancer.

  1. Fairer skin tone: Inadequate pigmentation or melanin content in the skin offers less protection against the harmful UV radiations. Having red or blond hair or light-colored eyes makes you more vulnerable to this condition.
  2. Sunburns: A history of sunburns can often be the root cause behind skin cancer.
  3. Excessive exposure to the sun: If you spend a considerable amount of time under the sun and especially if your skin is not protected by clothing or sunscreen, you tend to get a tan. A tan is the skin’s response to extreme UV radiations.
  4. Moles: Abnormally large moles, known as dysplastic nevi, are more likely to turn malignant. Watch out for any change in the texture of the moles, which is one of the most important symptoms of skin cancer.
  5. Family history: According to studies, genes are considered to be one of the causes behind skin cancer. Hence, a family history of this condition could spell trouble for one.
  6. Personal history: Having suffered from skin cancer previously in life could endanger one even more.
  7. Pre-cancerous skin injury: Skin lesions, also known as actinic keratosis, make you prone to developing pre-cancerous growths on the skin. These could appear as scaly rough patches, ranging from brown to pink in color. They usually crop up on the hands, head and faces of people who are comparatively of a fairer skin tone.
  8. A weak immune system: People having a poor immunity system, including the ones affected by HIV/AIDS or are on immunosuppressant drugs which follow any organ transplantation have greater risks of developing cancer.
  9. Exposure to radiation: Radiation therapy is an often used treatment method for treating various skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Having been exposed to radiations, one could be indisposed to this condition even more.
  10. Exposure to certain chemicals: Exposure to certain substances such as arsenic might increase your vulnerability manifold. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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