What puts patients at an increase of Skin Cancer?
- Skin tone: Skin cancer can affect anyone regardless of skin color, however, those with lighter skin tones have less melanin to protect them against UV radiation, making them more prone to developing skin cancers.
- Sunburns: Sun damage is cumulative, therefore experiencing repeated sunburns can exponentially increase the risk for skin cancer. Even one blistering sunburn in your lifetime can double the risk of developing melanoma.
- Lifetime sun exposure: Extended or regular exposure to UV radiation (working outdoors, tanning regularly, etc.) is a big risk factor for skin cancer.
- Climate: Living in sunny areas or places with a high-altitude can increase the intensity of UV radiation and, therefore, your risk for cancer.
- Moles and freckles: People who have numerous moles and freckles, especially abnormal moles, are at greater risk.
- Health history: A personal or family history of skin cancer increases future risk.
- Exposure to certain substances: Radiation, chemicals, and toxins can increase the risk of skin cancer, especially for people who regularly work with potential carcinogens (arsenic, industrial tar, etc.).
- Weakened immune systems: Organ transplant recipients and those who have immune suppression due to poor health, chronic immune conditions, or certain medication usage may be at an increased risk.
Derm Access appointments should not be considered a substitute for a full-body skin examination performed by a board-certified dermatologist. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that patients receive a full-body skin exam annually.